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Angry anglers tell of devastation as pollution kills 300 fish

By Staff Reporter

Published 28/07/2015

One of at least 300 brown and sea trout which have died on the River Enler
One of at least 300 brown and sea trout which have died on the River Enler
The River Enler

Anglers have told of their anger and devastation after at least 300 fish were killed in a major pollution incident on the River Enler in Co Down.

Brown trout and sea trout are among the game species affected.

The River Enler had just started to recover from a pollution incident that happened in 2013, when nearly 5,000 brown and sea trout were killed. Ian Kittle, a marine biologist from Comber, said: "The river was starting to recover and we had been busy restocking it.

"This incident is not as bad. But at the same time, we have lost juvenile fish and more.

"Our resident brown trout are dead and we also found a large sea trout that had been coming up from the lough to spawn,"

Eddie Donly, a committee member of Inler Angling Club, Comber, said, "I'm absolutely devastated, as are other members of the club.

"I've had lots of phone calls. Local people are concerned."

The anglers contacted the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) pollution hotline, and an official inspected the river over the weekend.

From the distribution of the dead fish, Mr Kittle believes there were two separate incidents.

An NIEA inspector visited the area after the incident was reported, to investigate and determine the environmental impact. A spokesman for the department said: "The inspector is following a definite line of inquiry."

Farmer Martin Hamilton of Mash Direct admitted causing the 2013 fish kill incident. A fine of £6,000 was imposed.

Belfast Telegraph

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