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Harringay, Haringey - So Good they Spelt it Twice!

Last week I saw a few dead carp and two pike (one over 2ft long!) at various points in the New River, some near Wightman Road and some on the other side, towards Ally Pally. Anyone got any ideas why this might be? 

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One possibility is that Thames Water have leaked drinking water into the river which raises the oxygen levels too high for fish. This happened a couple of years back and they were fined for it.

Another is that oxygen levels can crash if there’s too much algae.

River ecosystems are very fragile and anything that messes with oxygen levels will kill the fish. 

There was a lot of algae on the river the other day, which lends credence to what you say. It doesn't seem to be flowing as fast as it usually does

Should be reported to The River Authorities or The Environment  Agency.

  1. Yvonne I grew up on the Woodberry Downs Estate from 1950-1972. The New River ran past the estate,we overlooked the East & West reservoirs. Fish were in abundance at that particular time,and they were very large Pike,some were 3ft long, amongst so many small fish,Roach,Perch,Dace.
  2. The whole river was then patrolled by an Alsatian dog and handler,you could not walk the river like you can now. If there were any problems with fish stock they were reported on a daily basis.

Here’s a picture of one of the walksmen with his dog in the fifties. 

Hugh I think this is who us kids on Woodberry Down Estate in the 1950/60's called "Red Beret" You see in this photo hes wearing a Thames Water cap with badge,special occasion I guess for the photo, because he always wore a red beret. We called him "Strawberry nut" That dog was off the leash on the river bank. Friend of mine had hes backside bit after climbing over the fence to retrieve hes football. He just couldn't get back quick enough. Those were the days! Now you can walk most of the river.

Back in the day the river was full of fish and very clean,the river was always maintained by workman in boats with scythes cutting the reeds back,no algae in those days. No bricks and shopping trolleys! Its a sorry sight these days at the Woodberry Down stretch.

Thanks for that first-hand tale from our past.

Great stuff, thanks for sharing this.

I like that Vic..........."Strawberry nut".  Good tale.

From a rather disturbing post on a local Facebook group:

"Over the last few weeks the stretch of river that runs parallel with Wightman Road has been full of dead fish, at least one of the large pike and most of the bigger fish are belly up. The few live ones we have seen are blind, disoriented and feeble. The birds have fled that stretch and its now owned by insects and one little crustacean. I have an ongoing report in with the Gov. Environment Agency and Thames Water and I'll mention it here if anything comes of it.
The weird part: a regular dogwalker on that stretch has seen someone furtively pouring large containers of "a white foaming liquid" into that section of the river on what they say is a daily basis around 5pm-6pm. Unsubstantiated and might not be connected but.... well. Please, if you happen to be around there or walking and see anything suspicious at all let me know and I'll update the case file. Snap a photo if you can."
-similar reports in the Manor House area apparently.

Is there any clue as to where the pollution incidents are happening?

Beyond 'on that stretch', no. Everything seems OK between Turnpike and Hampden which confirms it's downstream of there.

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