Monday, September 03, 2007

Carp Deaths??

ECHO has been getting a lot of reports of deaths of large carp at fisheries across the country. Some of these are due to KHV, which is being monitored now. Some are due to fish still holding spawn they did not shed during the spring and summer. Most are unexplained.

A single common thread through many of the waters affected is the colour of the water, a tea colour, just like peat water running off the moors.

This colour may be caused by a diatom, or an algal bloom, or by the stirring of the bottom strata during the recent floods, but not all the waters reporting kills have been flooded.

The pattern of deaths on many waters follows the pattern one would associate with a viral infection, although in most reports the fish are showing no signs of disease, parasite loading or any damage to gills.

SAA and ECHO are very concerned about this situation but much of what we are being told is hearsay.

We need to build a database of events and circumstances to even be able to project the size of the problem and to develop ideas of what may be the cause.

We need the nation’s anglers to report facts, seen with their own eyes.

If you have any information regarding carp deaths in your waters please email, heading it Carp Deaths, with the following information; name of water, location, number of deaths, size and species of fish affected, colour of water, if the water was subject to flooding in the recent summer rains, the timescale over which the deaths occurred, what action the Environment Agency has taken to determine the cause, any explanation they might have given.

It may be that we can do nothing to prevent further deaths, but this information may allow those of us who are working on the problem to gain a better understanding of the cause and give our scientists some directions in which to conduct further research.

Thanks in advance for any help you can give.