A MASSIVE pollution killed tens of thousands of prime coarse fish and destroyed a 40 kilometre stretch of quality fishing in the Fens.

The pollution was possibly caused by an overturned lorry discharging its load of fertiliser into a drain in the recent snow.

Fish and wildlife on Lincolnshire’s River Witham have been wiped out from Bardney Lock down to the mouth of the river at Boston.

Eye witness Seb Jarmoluk described a scene of total carnage. He saw dead and dying fish everywhere and the river completely lifeless after the pollution got a grip.

The Tattersall-based voluntary bailiff with the Angling Trust explained: “The river is totally devoid of life with many thousands of dead fish and no sign of any birds.

“I have been fishing along the river for 13 years and in the past year it has fished better than I had ever known it so this is especially tragic.

“Pike over 30 lb and perch to 4 lb have been coming out plus good carp, bream, tench and plenty of silver fish, and there are quite a few free fishing stretches.

“We hope that some of the pike may have survived as they have been spawning on the feeder streams but it is doubtful that they will have anything much to feed on.

“The Environment Agency have unofficially told us that they have traced the pollution to the contents of the overturned lorry getting into the river with ammonia from the fertiliser killing the fish, but haven’t released further details,” he added.

Despite Angler’s Mail asking the EA for more details, they couldn’t give an estimate of how many fish died or why.

An EA spokesman told the Mail: “Our team of officers are continuing with their work on the River Witham to isolate the pollution, assist in the clean-up and limit the damage to the environment.

“We have now identified the source and cause of the pollution and our investigations into the incident are ongoing.”

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