Slipshod dredging blamed for massive fish kill

Published: Wednesday, 11 October 2017

SLIPSHOD dredging at Leighton Buzzard on the Grand Union Canal is being blamed for half a tonne of dead fish.

Dredging is of course no longer carried out by Canal & River Trust, but by contractors that obviously do not know what they are doing, with the result that a large pound has been 'cleared' of its fish in what has been described as a 'level one fish kill', Alan Tilbury reports.


Half a tonne of fish corpses were left after the ‘kill’ in Leighton Buzzard, with 1,200lb of corpses including carp weighing up to 20lb, bream near 5lb and perch of 3lb, that have now been removed.

Luton Angling Club has pointed the finger at dredging carried out by the Canal & River Trust following the discovery at the Grove Church pound of the canal, with member Steve Sharp, complaining:

Substantial fish kill

“Sadly there was a substantial fish kill on our Grand Union Canal controlled Grove Church section with many specimen bream, perch and carp found floating dead. It was soon categorised as a level one fish kill which is the highest it could be classed as.”

Dennis Hunt, Luton Angling Club Chairman, believes the recent dredging of the Grand Union Canal was the cause, explaining:

“The Canal & River Trust have been dredging the canal, everyone knew they were doing it, there were posters up and it has been widely publicised. The consequence of that, we believe, is that it has de-oxygenated the water and killed 1,200lb in weight of fish.

“They have not spoken to us, they have been clearing up the mess since last Sunday, it is confined to one stretch of the canal.

“The Trust has got a contractor in to help clear up, they have removed and disposed of over 1,200lb of corpses. We have had an angling licence since 1923 and this is the first time I have seen anything like this and it is due to the dredging, it de-oxygenated the water and killed the fish.

“We found out on Monday afternoon when we got a call from the man from the tackle shop in Leighton Buzzard, but we believe the Canal & River Trust knew about it on Friday. We will be seeking compensation and restocking.”