Update: Fish die after salt tides surge up river towards the Norfolk Broads

The river Thurne in Potter Heigham. Picture: James Bass

Fresh water fish have been killed by a salt tide surging up the river Thurne towards the Norfolk Broads.

Environment Agency (EA) staff mounted a rescue mission in Potter Heigham today and, while they were able to save hundreds of fish with the help of local anglers, hundreds more have died.

A spokesman for the EA said: 'We were alerted to a number of fish in distress in the River Thurne at Potter Heigham this morning.

'Increased salinity in the water due to the high tides yesterday caused the fish to become distressed.

'The fish barrier into the Herbert Woods Boatyard was raised on Wednesday as a preventative measure before the high tides, providing a safe haven for thousands of fish. However, some fish remained outside this barrier.

'With the help of local anglers, Environment Agency staff rescued hundreds more fish this morning and returned them to the safety of the boatyard.'

In 2007, thousands of fish in the river Yare died when November storms drove the sea tides higher than normal up the river. It was described as one of worst incidents of fish deaths from natural causes in the Norfolk Broads in the last 15 years.

The Thurne barrier in Potter Heigham means hundreds of thousands of fish can be protected.

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If anyone see signs of fish in distress, they are asked to call the Environment Agency hotline on 0800 807060.

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