Mystery surrounds death of 5,000 fish
THOUSANDS of fish have died after the lake they were in was contaminated.
Residents discovered the dead fish at Madeley Pool yesterday morning and spent the rest of the day trying to oxygenate the water to save other fish which were still alive.
Buckets, paddling pools and even a baby bath were brought in to house the rescued fish.
It is not yet known what caused the death of the others.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Sunday, May 26 2013
The pool has been closed to fishing and upcoming matches will be cancelled.
Ralph Parsons, chairman of Madeley Pool Angling Club, which manages the pool, said: "We normally have between 7,000 and 10,000 fish in the pool. At least 5,000 of them must have died.
"The whole pool looked like a carpet with fish on the surface struggling to breathe.
"It is a close-knit community and we are a local club so everyone has pulled their finger out to try to do what they can.
"We have tried to take out as many alive fish as we can, but there is only so long they will last in paddling pools.
"They have been dying by the minute but we can't take them anywhere in case they contaminate other fish."
Representatives from the Environmental Agency and Newcastle Borough Council were contacted.
Tests are being carried out to determine the cause, but the results have not yet come back.
Ralph, aged 34, of John Offley Road, Madeley, added: "We need to wait until we get the test results but that doesn't stop more fish dying. It's a difficult situation.
"There is a brook that runs into the pool and they have followed that upstream.
"I think they had a reading of high pollutants about a mile away but that's all we know at the moment."
Resident Jacqui Caisley was among those who helped out at the pool.
The 25-year-old, of Moss Lane, Madeley, said: "A neighbour knocked on our door around 8.30am saying there was a lot of dead fish and the others were gasping for air.
"Loads of us went out to try to catch the ones which were still alive. Even little kids were out with their fishing nets. We put them into boxes, containers and even paddling pools to try to keep them alive, but they'll be lucky if they survive. It's awful."
Parish councillor Ann Spilsbury said: "This is catastrophic. It is a well-stocked pool and a lot of cost, time and effort goes into looking after it.
"The angling club will be heartbroken to lose so many fish.
"It isn't the first time something like this has happened. We have had waste tipped further up the supply chain and it has come into the pool."
Madeley Pool is owned by the borough council but the angling club has taken over its management.
Ralph hopes the council will help with the costs of restocking the pool once the problem has been cleared up.
Fishing at the historic mill pool is restricted to members only.
In 2009, more than 15 ducks had to be rescued after an oil spill in the River Lea, which runs into Madeley Pool.
Thousands of fish also died from a suspected contamination in 2004.