Five thousand brook trout and with them also critically protected species such as lampreys or barn owls died at the confluence of the Mohelka River and the Jeřmanické Stream in Liberecka. Someone probably poisoned the fish with an unknown chemical, which has already happened six times in the past.
Thousands of dead brook trout, grayling grayling, among them protected lampreys or common crows. Mohelka turned into a dead river in no time. The fishermen’s many years of work is in vain.
“It is an exceptional river in the entire Czech Republic, where there are really only native species of fish,” said Jan Rozkovec, chairman of the Czech Fishermen’s Association from Hodkovice nad Mohelkou. “Fishermen came with buckets and wellies and picked the corpses here,” added František Ledl, a member of the fishermen’s union.
The police already know that the death of the fish was not caused by a lack of oxygen during the heat. Circumstances indicate that it was a chemical, most likely lye. “I was the first to notice it. Gray gills and terribly fast death. There was no stiffness,” remarked Tomáš Menčík, a member of the fishermen’s union. “They had corroded gills. There may also be a possibility that someone deliberately released some chemical. We are already dealing with about the sixth or seventh poisoning of this river here,” added Rozkovec. “It’s a scumbag from the one who lets it in there,” thinks Ledl.
The collected samples of water and dead fish are now being examined by experts from southern Bohemia. “The police are giving this case a high priority. The death was so massive that it was basically a dead river in a certain section. Experts from the field were brought in,” said Miroslav Frydrych, deputy director of the police in the Liberec region.
The death is simultaneously being investigated by the Czech Environmental Inspection. The police have already qualified the case as a misdemeanor of damaging and endangering the environment. “In this context, we appeal to any witnesses who registered any unusual or suspicious activity in the vicinity of the Jermanický Potok near the sewage treatment plant from midnight on August 19 to 20 to the afternoon of the same day, to inform us about it immediately,” said the police spokeswoman Ivana Baláková. Fishermen now have roughly five years of hard work to do before they manage to restore the Mohelka River to its original state.