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Fishing ban at Danson Lake as "serious disease" kills more than 50 carp

PUBLISHED: 09:37 31 July 2017 | UPDATED: 09:37 31 July 2017

Danson Lake

Danson Lake

Archant

Results from tests are expected within three weeks

The sudden death of more than 50 carp living in Danson Lake has sparked fears of a “serious disease” in the water.

On Friday, the council announced a ban on fishing at the lake in Danson Park, saying it was “highly likely” a virus had spread around the lake’s carp population.

Samples from the lake have been sent off for testing as the council works with the Environment Agency and the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Agriculture, with results expected within three weeks.

Watersport activities continued over the weekend, with the lake remaining open to all events except fishing.

The suspected virus is not thought to be harmful to humans, animals or other fish species.

To protect carp at other lakes, all crafts leaving the water must now go through supervised disinfection at the on-site jetty to prevent the virus being spread.

A spokesperson from the Environment Agency said: “We are investigating how a significant number of fish died at Danson Park Lake, Bexley last week. Specialist Environment Agency officers have taken fish and water samples from the lake to ascertain how over 50 carp perished. The situation will be closely monitored and we continue to advise the local authority as appropriate.”

Fish carcasses are currently being sent for incineration, with the council warning the public to avoid any contact with the bodies, instead reporting any discoveries to the Watersports Centre at the boathouse.

In 2012, the lake had to close to all water sports, after harmful algae killed off a large part of the lake’s roach and carp population.

The incident was caused by people abandoning their pets in the water, with the Environment Agency later replenishing stocks by adding 6,000 fish to the water.

A council spokesperson said: “This is not thought to be the same virus, and the water is safe for activities to continue.

“We would remind park users that for the safety of lake users, wildlife and family pets, dogs are not allowed in the lake. The council always advises dog walkers to keep their pets on their leads close to the water particularly in the summer months when inland waters can also suffer from algae blooms which can prove fatal to dogs.”

To contact the boathouse with a report, call 0208 3003 2828.

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