A fire at a warehouse on the banks of a Midlands Canal popular with match anglers has resulted in the death of an estimated 50,000 fish – although fast action by the Environment Agency saved thousands more.

The blaze, believed to be caused by arsonists saw several miles of waterway between Wolverhampton and Wednesbury affected as pollution first leaked first into the Birmingham-Mainline Canal before moving though the Wyrley and Essington Canal.
Lee Woodhouse, who runs one of the canal stretches affected, told Match Fishing magazine: “The trouble was that the canal network round here has a lot of ‘arms’ used for industry and when the fish went in these they got trapped and died in their thousands. A similar thing happened in 2003 and within two years the fish had bounced back and the fishing was better than it had ever been.
“I cannot fault how British Waterways and the EA dealt with the situation,” added Lee.
The EA confirmed that the incident had claimed the lives of a considerable number of perch, roach, bleak, pike, rudd, tench and carp, but that over 4000kg of fish had been rescued and moved to a safe location. BW said they will continue to monitor fish stocks and take any action necessary to bringing the stocks back up to the required levels.