Another major fish kill in the Darling

NSW DPI has confirmed there has been a second major fish kill event in the Darling river at Menindee, NSW.

HUNDREDS of thousands of fish have been killed along a stretch of the Lower Darling River in NSW in a second major incident.

According to an article in The Guardian, residents near the Menindee Lakes are reporting what is the second major fish kill along a 20km stretch of water near Weir 32.

An incident before Christmas saw an estimated 10,000 fish die.

Locals have been posting photos of dying fish washed up along the shores of the lakes and some are saying that it could all but wipe out the populations of Murray cod and other native fish, raising serious questions about the way WaterNSW is managing the lakes system.

According to the article, two years ago the lakes were almost full but WaterNSW has been releasing water and allowing extraction upstream for irrigation at a rate that has just 2.5% of water in the lakes.

“It’s an absolute tragedy. This is a world-scale fish kill, but the catastrophe has been so well orchestrated and there is so much money involved you won’t get to the bottom of it,” said fishing journalist Rod McKenzie.

DPI said it had visited the Menindee Lakes on Monday and confirmed there had been “a major fish kill event in the Darling river at Menindee affecting hundreds of thousands of fish, including golden perch, Murray cod, and Bony Herring”.

DPI senior fisheries manager, Anthony Townsend, said the department would use the incident to learn more about our native fish and improve management.

WaterNSW said at the time it was continuing to monitor water quality throughout the dams and river systems but local graziers have accused the NSW government of sacrificing their 500 km stretch of the Darling River in order to benefit upstream cotton growers.

Meanwhile Centre Alliance senator Rex Patrick said: “The Darling River is going into cardiac arrest and both the federal and NSW governments are asleep at the wheel of the ambulance.”

You can read the full story HERE.

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