STRICKEN carp, struggling to survive in the depleted waters of Sandown canoe lake, have been rescued by the RSPCA.

The Isle of Wight branch of the charity has taken a first batch of the fish and will keep them in their holding tanks until the situation improves.

They said last night: "We are currently responding to the developing situation at Sandown canoe lake — the lake is evaporating in the heat.

"Thanks to the Sandown community for pulling together to help these species, some are critically endangered. We are filling our wildlife ponds waiting admissions."

Later in the evening, they added: "Carp have arrived. Huge gratitude to Gary and Josh for volunteering their time and experience to make this happen and for giving these animals a chance. More tomorrow."

Local residents have been speaking of their “frustration, anger, and sadness” over the situation over the last few days.

There have been various stumbling blocks and a number of fish have been found dead.

The lake is jointly owned by the Isle of Wight Council and private owners.

Local people, spearheaded by Matthew Sherwood, have been consulting with marine charity Blue Seas Protection, the RSPCA and the Environment Agency over the future of the fish.

On Monday, a spokesperson for the Environment Agency had warned: “It is against the law to move fish without authorisation from the Environment Agency.

“We regulate the movement of fish to help protect fish stocks and the water environment from harmful parasites and diseases.”

On Tuesday, residents and marine charity volunteers set up a holding tank and began the process of relocating the fish.

Later in the evening, police were called after Sandown town councillor Chris Dupre reportedly had a disagreement with some of the rescuers.

A spokesperson for the Isle of Wight Police said: "We were called at 6.13pm on 11 August to reports of a man removing fish from canoe lake in Sandown, without the permission of the council.

"Police attended to prevent a breach of the peace as a suitable alternative to removing the fish was found before appropriate licensing had been obtained."

A Facebook page has been set up, called Sandown Canoe Lake - Save Our Fish, where people can offer to help.

At least two fundraising pages have been set up, one via the Facebook page and one via the RSPCA.