A major investigation is underway after a suspected fish kill occurred in the Sillees River near Boho leaving scores of dead fish strewn across the river bank.

A Fermanagh couple counted 80 dead fish floating in the River in Boho on Tuesday afternoon.

Aoife McGloin was with her boyfriend, Conor Gallagher, when he was out fishing - as they came across the dead fish at the bend of the river, near Corr Bridge beside Ross Lough.

Aoife told the Impartial Reporter: “It was a weird scene. My boyfriend likes to go fishing and he found it very strange to see so many dead fish - we counted 80 of them.

“We weren’t able to tell what caused them to die, they were just floating.”

Yesterday (Wednesday), a spokesperson for the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) said: “The Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) has not received any previous reports of a suspected fish kill in the Sillees River, Boho, Co.Fermanagh.”

However, the spokesperson also confirmed that a NIEA officer was investigating the incident after various media outlets had made enquiries about it.

A DAERA Spokesperson said: “The Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) received reports of a suspected fish kill in the Sillees River, Boho, Co.Fermanagh from media outlets this morning.

“NIEA and Inland Fisheries officers have confirmed fish mortalities and are continuing their investigation. We would encourage members of the public to report any suspected pollution incidents to the Emergency pollution hotline on 0800 80 70 60.”

Independent councillor for Erne West, Bernice Swift, was contacted about the dead fish by the Impartial Reporter while she was in a Department for Infrastructure (DfI) Drainage Council meeting.

She said: “I have reported this to DfI Rivers for investigation. I am advised there are many factors that could possibly be the cause of the significant number of dead fish, such as the recent hot weather or indeed pollution.

“I sincerely hope that as soon as the cause is established the appropriate action will be taken in the local Sillees River.”

Fellow Erne West councillor, the SDLP’s Adam Gannon, yesterday said that he hadn’t been made aware of the dozens of dead fish until being contacted by this newspaper, calling it a “worrying development”.

Councillor Gannon added: “I would like to know what the cause was and whether or not it was due to some form of pollution?”