Investigators say they have found no evidence of chemical poisoning after thousands of fish were found dead in a Weymouth fishing lake.

They say the most likely cause of the deaths of thousands of fish in Harbour Bridge Fishing Lakes in Chickerell was algae growth.

Police were called to the lakes on Good Friday, April 7 2023, to a report that a 'contaminating substance' was believed to have been poured into the water.

The Environment Agency has found no evidence of pollutants in the water, but investigations into the fish deaths are ongoing.

Lakes owner Jim Roper believed that the water had been deliberately poisoned.

An Environment Agency spokesman said: “We continue to investigate what caused a significant fish kill in Chickerell. We await the final results of testing.

"But early indications are that the most probable cause of this incident was algae growth, which would have affected the amount of dissolved oxygen present.

"Water quality sampling has not found any evidence of pollutants likely to have contributed to the fish kill.

“If left unchecked, weeds and blooms pose a risk to the environment, particularly fish, because they limit the amount of dissolved oxygen in the water – particularly overnight.

"If you use a river or lake and see dead or distressed fish, contact our hotline 0800 807060.”

Among thousands of fish reported to have died at the lakes, a Muscovy Duck was also found dead after being seen eating a fish.

Mr Roper suggested that these preliminary findings may not be able to explain how the duck died.

He said: "I was told yesterday that golden algae was an 'outside chance'.

"I have asked the Environment Agency if it could have caused the duck death."

Mr Roper believed that a chemical agent such as chlorine may have been to blame for the deaths.

The deaths were reported on Good Friday and consequently, investigators were not able to take samples until five days later due to the Easter holiday.

Mr Roper said: "Chlorine, if that was in fact to blame, is a gas that could possibly have dissipated before the samples were taken, but I'm not qualified to say any more than that.

"The water samples were taken five days after the first deaths due to the Easter holiday."

Despite the turmoil in the fish population at the lakes, Mr Roper has said that the story has attracted the attention of potential new visitors.

He said: "I am always getting people saying they have lived in Weymouth for ages
but didn't know Harbour Bridge Lakes were there. 

"Well, they do now! For all the wrong reasons."