AN investigation has been launched into sightings of dead fish at The Basins.

Environment Agency officers were seen at the Wellington conservation area on Thursday, May 16, after residents reported “lots” of dead fish being washed up in its waterways.

A number of residents shared speculation over the incident on social media, with one suggesting it could be a result of a lack of oxygen in the water. But the Environment Agency has now confirmed the fish died as a result of an algal bloom.

It comes after a July 2018 incident in which more than 100 fish reportedly died in The Basins - with a further 1,000 said to be distressed as a result of low oxygen levels.

The Environment Agency identified that summer’s hot weather as the cause of the crisis, with the heat limiting the amount of oxygen the water was able to hold onto.

Thursday’s investigation was sparked after a similar spell of hot weather, which saw temperatures soar as high as 22C in the town in recent weeks. However a spokesperson for the agency said oxygen levels monitored in The Basins on Thursday were sufficient. In a statement they said:

“An Environment Agency officer attended the site on Wednesday evening and again on Thursday morning and observed half a dozen dead fish.

“We believe an algal bloom to be the cause of the fish kill, which is common at this time of year. The dissolved oxygen level this morning was high enough to sustain aquatic life. We will be engaging with local landowners to improve flow in the area to reduce the risk of further fish mortality.”