The Environment Agency has launched a full investigation after more than 100 trout were killed in a small tributary of the West Looe River, near Liskeard.


On Monday morning (October 16, 2006) several members of the public reported the stream had become discoloured and had a foul smell.


An Environment Agency officer attended the site and saw that the Connon Stream near Trevillis Woods was discoloured. Water samples were taken to identify the suspected pollutant and an investigation commenced to trace the source of the pollution.


An examination of the stream downstream revealed 85 dead trout although the coloration in the water prevented a full fish kill assessment.


On Tuesday morning (October 17) officers returned to the site of the pollution to complete the fish kill assessment. As well as locating another 25 dead trout in the stream, a second pollution, downstream of the first pollution was identified. Further water quality samples were taken and investigations into the cause of this event are also underway.


‘We are now in the process of confirming the sources of both pollution incidents while trying to reduce the impact on the local environment,’ said Mark Pilcher, from the Environment Agency.


‘Environment Agency fisheries survey data on the Connon Stream confirms that although it is a small watercourse, it supported healthy numbers of trout and acted as a nursery area.


‘A fish kill of over 100 trout of different ages therefore represents a significant impact on this small stream and we will now investigate the causes and whether any legal action will be taken.’


Samples of the pollutant have been taken for laboratory analysis and investigations are continuing into the source of the pollution.


The Environment Agency’s free 24-hour hotline for reporting environmental incidents such as fly-tipping or pollution is 0800 80 70 60.