River hit by fish kill ‘could take years to recover’
A polluted river where hundreds of fish were killed could take years to recover, angling experts said last night.
Up to 500 fish, mainly trout and salmon, died in Six Mile Water River in Co Antrim — the second time in three years it has been hit by a fish kill.
Robbie Marshall of the Ulster Angling Federation said he was “sickened” by the latest incident.
“One of the club members at Ballynure alerted us to the fish kill on Sunday,” he said.
“The area of river affected runs between Ballyclare and the Doagh Road Bridge, a good three or four-mile stretch, and around 400 or 500 fish were killed this time.
“In 2008 there was a major kill in the same river, when thousands of fish were wiped out.
“It looks like the river was polluted but at this stage we can’t say by what.
“Years and years of hard work has gone into this fishery and it’s going to take a long time to bring the river back to where it should be.”
Ballynure Angling Club member Billy Robinson was walking along the riverbank when he saw the dead fish from Doagh bridge, up as far as Ballyclare.
Describing the discovery, he told Radio Ulster that he had seen “quite a few dead trout, from small fish up to fish weighing three-quarters of a pound to a pound in weight”.
Water and fish samples were taken away by the Environment Agency on Sunday afternoon for analysis.
Ulster Unionist MLA Danny Kinahan said: “I am profoundly disappointed to find myself in the position of having to condemn yet another fish kill on the Six Mile Water River in the Ballyclare area.
“Having spent a great deal of time in the past two years working with local anglers’ groups, I am acutely aware of the disappointment and frustration that this will cause, bearing in mind that the river was only just recovering from a previous incident.”