More than 100,000 fish rescued from Erewash Canal after Stanton Ironworks blaze
MORE than 100,000 fish have been rescued from the Erewash Canal after part of it was polluted following a major fire.
The Canal and River Trust finished its rescue operation yesterday.
Stephen Hardy, communications manager at the Canal and River Trust, which took over responsibility for the canal from British Waterways earlier this year, said: "Around 1.5 tonnes of fish have been rescued, which is in excess of 100,000.
"We believe we have rescued around 90 per cent of the fish but unfortunately there are some that we weren't able to save."
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A five-mile stretch of the canal was left with low oxygen levels after a blaze broke out at the former Stanton Ironworks site on September 15.
The fire continued to burn for around a week, causing oxygen levels in the canal to dip further and dead fish were spotted in the water.
The Environment Agency began the rescue operation last Friday, before it was then taken on by the trust.
Workers have been stunning live fish with electricity and removing them from the waters every day since, before releasing the fish into other sections of the canal deemed to be safe.
Mr Hardy said efforts to remove dead fish from the canal are expected to begin today.
Mr Hardy added: "It has been a significant incident, but thankfully by working closely with the Environment Agency and getting out on site quickly we have been able to lessen the damage."
During the rescue operation the Erewash Canal was closed at the Trent Navigation, at Trent Lock, to prevent any potential discharge into the River Trent.
The fire began at a recycling facility at the former Stanton Ironworks, in Lows Lane, Stanton-by-Dale, near Ilkeston, and sent plumes of smoke across Nottingham and nearby towns.
At its height people were advised to keep their windows and doors shut.