Anglers and nature lovers were horrified to see hundreds of dead fish floating in the water following the dredging of a popular stretch of canal.
The fish, believed to be roach, were visibly gasping for air on the surface before they died, say witnesses who visited the canal at Campbell Park.
“There were hundreds of them dead or dying on the surface of the canal. It was really upsetting,” said one.
Another witnesses took photos and a video of the water littered with bodies of fish.
But the Canal & River Trust, who carried out the dredging work, say only “a small number” of fish were affected.
They say they dredged that section of canal to ensure boaters could easily navigate and moor along it.
The Trust spokesman Paul Cox told the Citizen: “Whenever we dredge a canal there is always a small risk that we may affect the oxygen levels in the water which is why our team is always on the lookout for any signs of fish in distress. Where we do notice that fish are struggling we stop work immediately and allow the oxygen levels to recover. “
He added: During the dredging works in Milton Keynes a small number of young roach have been affected by the low oxygen levels and have sadly died. We have reported this incident to the Environment Agency and are continuing to monitor the oxygen levels in the water.”