AN investigation has been launched after hundreds of dead fish were discovered by a Ramsbottom man.

The fish were found by Gary Fleming in Bradshaw Brook, near Bolton, on Sunday while he was walking in the area with a friend.

Mr Fleming said: “They were fresh. Someone has dumped something poisonous and powerful enough to kill all the fish in there.

“I saw about 60 dead fish on the surface, but there was some water that was so deep that you couldn’t see, there could have been hundreds. I got to the bottom of Jumbles reservoir and there was about a mile of water strewn with dead fish. It was very disturbing.”

Bradshaw Brook connects the Wayoh and Jumbles reservoirs, which are used by United Utilities to provide homes across north Manchester with non-drinking water.

They are also connected to three other reservoirs, including the Turton and Entwistle reservoir.

A spokesman for United Utilities said the incident was initially reported on Friday, and that a joint investigation with the Environment Agency was continuing. He said: “We are now working with the Environment Agency to help find out what caused this, but at the moment we don’t know.”

An Environment Agency spokesman confirmed: “After receiving reports of fish in distress at Bradshaw Brook, our Fisheries officers attended the site.

“On arrival, they found hundreds of fish dead in the water. Investigations to determine the cause of this incident are ongoing.”