An investigation into a major fish kill in Fermanagh may lead to criminal proceedings.

The Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) committee at Stormont heard the total death toll for the fish kill in the Kesh River on September 2. It was confirmed to the committee that two chemicals of interest were detected during chemical monitoring for the investigation.

The committee was briefed by Kerry Anderson and Deirdree Quinn on Thursday and were told that the specific mortality numbers for the fish kill were 1,899 trout across all age classes and 576 salmon up to two-years-old have been confirmed by DAERA inland fisheries.

Speaking to the committee, Deirdree Quinn said: “The kill has impacted on the fishery for approximately 4 kilometres of the river, stretching from one kilometre downstream from the village of Ederney to Kesh Village in the village of Kesh. Live fish were also observed within this stretch over a distance of 1km, approximately 400m downstream from Mullughmore bridge on the Kesh River.”

Before beginning her presentation to the committee, the representatives from DAERA warned: “This is an ongoing investigation and may result in criminal proceedings.”

They told the committee that an investigation is ongoing and focusing in on a geographical area.

Mr Anderson remarked that this kill was “very strange” due to the presence of live fish, dissolved oxygen levels were within the normal range and invertebrates on which fish feed have not been impacted.