Fish return to stretch of Erewash Canal after fire pollution
TENS of thousands of fish are to be moved back to a stretch of Erewash Canal after tests found no signs that it was polluted.
A fire that burned at a Stanton-by-Dale recycling plant for nearly two months is thought to have caused the deaths of several thousand fish after water used to tackle the blaze ran into the canal, causing it to become contaminated and deoxygenated.
More than 100,000 fish were rescued and moved upstream by the Environment Agency.
Now, the Canals and Rivers Trust is looking to bring fish back to the one-and-a-half-kilometre stretch of the canal that was cleared after recent tests found no signs of pollution.
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Stephen Hardy, communications manager at the trust, which took over responsibility for the canal from British Waterways earlier this year, said: "We managed to rescue around 1.5 tonnes of fish, which is in excess of 100,000. We believe we rescued around 90% of the fish but unfortunately there are some that we weren't able to save.
"Our priority in the short term is to redistribute those we did manage to save along the whole length of the canal.
"In the longer term, we would like to look at restocking to make up for the fish that died. But there are no time scales in place for that to happen at this moment in time."
The fire in the old Stanton Ironworks site, which started on September 15, blazed for nine days and was attended by 60 firefighters at its peak.
Fire crews were at the site for nine days continuously after the fire started at what was the Arcwood recycling plant in Lows Lane, Stanton-By-Dale.
The land owner, Saint-Gobain PAM, terminated the lease of the company which used the site after the blaze.
Saint-Gobain remains in charge of the land.
Meanwhile, fisherman John Adamson, of Long Eaton Victoria Angling Society, said the fire had also affected wildlife that feeds on fish and insect life from the canal.
He said: "An example is that herons are raiding garden ponds in their search for food. They are so hungry you can practically walk up to them before they fly away."