AN angler is calling on the Environment Agency to clean up the upper part of the Dock River blocked with rubbish, weeds and dead fish.

Stephen Longley, a member of Harwich Angling Club, said the Environment Agency no longer has to carry out maintenance on that part of the river as it decided there was no significant danger of flooding.

He claims the lack of maintenance has made the river become blocked with rubbish, overgrown with weeds and all of the fish have died.

Stephen added the angling club no longer leases the upper part of the river as it has become unfishable.

He said: “The fishing club greatly increased its work parties, but it proved impossible to manually keep the river clear.

“At a huge cost to the club, we employed a private contractor with a high tech boat to clear all of the river from weeds in our section.

“But unfortunately within two weeks the river was blocked solid as all the weed and rubbish floated down from areas we have no control over.

“Eventually all the weeds polluted the river and despite our efforts the fish perished.”

The 69-year-old has criticised the Environment Agency for pouring £1 million into a project to restore a rundown pumping station at the lower end of the Dock River.

The work is being done to refurbish the Parkeston Pumping Station in a bid to protect two villages from flooding.

Stephen, of Coke Street, said: “If the Environment Agency had done its job properly and not allowed the river to block the pumps would not of been damaged in the first place, and the fish would be alive.”

An Environment Agency spokesman said it had previously carried out some maintenance work along the upper part of the river to help maintain flows for the purposes of flood risk management.

He said: “However as there is no significant flood risk to people and property, this work is no longer considered cost beneficial.

“We have been undertaking some weed clearance work over the past two years to the lower sections where floating pennywort has taken hold, greatly restricting the flow and reducing the effectiveness of our Parkeston Pumping Station.”

To date the fisheries team have supported the removal of dead fish, carried out surveys to ascertain the fish population and liaised with golf club and landowners to promote better riparian bank management.

He said: “Unfortunately in its current state, the environmental stresses seen in the past few years, have rendered the river unsuitable for fish fauna and presents a challenge for the river to act as a viable fishery.”