Lake's fish hit by the heatwave

PUBLISHED: 15:40 05 July 2006 | UPDATED: 09:32 24 May 2010

COMPASSIONATE residents are calling for action to prevent hundreds of fish from suffering and dying at a popular Portishead visitor attraction

COMPASSIONATE residents are calling for action to prevent hundreds of fish from suffering and dying at a popular Portishead visitor attraction.One of them, Reyna Knight, vice chairman of the town's local action team, takes her dogs for a walk around Portishead Lake Grounds every morning.Mrs Knight (pictured) says that during the last fortnight, she has seen at least five dead, or dying, fish each day.The animal lover claims dozens of fish lose their battle for life at the beauty spot every year, but higher temperatures are increasing the death toll which she reckons currently stands at around 50 a week.So she has written to North Somerset Council asking what it plans to do to solve the problem.Mrs Knight said: "I'd like to see an efficient pump and fountain installed to increase the oxygen levels in the water and some of the fish transferred elsewhere as the lake is overpopulated."People often comment on how distressing it is to see the fish gasping for breath and seagulls pecking at dead ones."I've been told that fish die all over the country in hot weather, but that's no excuse."It happens every year and with global warming, the situation can only get worse, but the council seems content to leave things as they are and simply collect the dead fish every day."Chris Webber, North Somerset Council's parks co-ordinator, said: "Oxygen levels drop during periods of hot weather and weaker fish are affected by this."We are making sure that any dead fish are collected each morning."We are working with the Environment Agency and they are advising us on ways to improve oxygen levels."We are not concerned about the quality of water as it is replenished from a freshwater stream above, but have arranged testing to make sure.

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