Otley resident ‘horrified’ at ‘critically low’ water levels of the River Wharfe as fish are 'left exposed'
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Sally Howarth said that she has walked her dog by the river in Otley on a regular basis for the last three decades but had never see the water level as low as it was on Wednesday afternoon this week (July 12).
She said: “We had just gone from my house and over the bridge when I saw it. It was really horrifying.
"I had never seen the stones exposed like that before. I was wondering what’s going on.”
She said that she continued down and became “really alarmed” at the state of the river, saying: “We couldn’t see any water going over the weir. Half the river was completely dry and the other half was running but not going over the weir.
"That’s never happened before.”
She added that “the fish were exposed” and there were “lots of birds picking at them”.
She said: “Anyone that knows the river would have been open-mouthed. It was disturbingly low.”
Ms Howarth said that she met another person on her walk who said that they had reported the issue to the Environment Agency. They also theorised that the low water levels were due to an issue with a water turbine near a housing estate.
She said that the water returned to its normal levels after around an hour and that it has remained at the regular level since.