DOZENS of dead fish, including rare eels, have been found in waters near a recycling centre.

Volunteers from Windrush Against Sewage Pollution (WASP) have been at the site near Dix Pit in Stanton Harcourt and discovered a range of dead fish.

The incident is believed to be caused by an algal crash, an event that occurs after the rapid growth of algae in a pond or lake, which often happens in warmer weather.

The environmental permit for Dix Pit is held by FCC Environment and regulated by the Environment Agency (EA), which carries out routine checks to ensure compliance.

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Vaughan Lewis, an independent environmental consultant, said: “The area near Dix Pit is suffering from an algal bloom, which looks like a green or blue paint.

“It grows when there’s a lot of nutrients in the water and this has come from somewhere, which could be the Windrush or Dix Pit.

“The algae grows very fast and exhausts the nutrients and the oxygen levels plummet.

“This does damage to the fish in the area and this in particular is a big fish kill.

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“There’s lots of dead perch and pike, and dead eels and lots of distressed eels struggling to get oxygen in their gills.

“It’s really unusual to get this many eels in the area, they’re lovely animals but they don’t get the attention others might. Eels are incredibly rare and on the edge at the moment.

“The algae produces a toxin, typically to mammals like dogs and can even make humans quite ill as well therefore human health is an issue here.

“We’re looking for sources of phosphate and nitrate to determine where this has come from.”

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Ashley Smith, of WASP, said: “Vaughan has been doing a lot of work and it appears in the last few years they’ve been getting a lot of algal blooms in the area.”

An EA spokesperson said: “Over the weekend we have been working with the fishery owner to help increase oxygen levels in Dix Pit following an algal crash which caused a reduction in dissolved oxygen levels in the water.

“We have deployed an aerator which will help increase dissolved oxygen levels to provide a localised refuge area for fish while the rest of the lake recovers.”