Mass fish deaths in Vic lake

Some commentators are saying that recent fish deaths in Lake Wellington, Vic, are due to mismanagement while other blemae the drought (image: ABC via Facebook).

HUNDREDS of fish have died near an internationally-recognised lake in eastern Victoria.

According to an article by Emma Field on the ABC website, regulators and water managers have blamed “natural causes” such as salinity for the death of adult carp in the main drain of Lake Wellington near Sale.

Advocates for the Gippsland Lakes said the mass fish deaths were just another indicator of long-term mismanagement of the waterways, while a scientist said the impact of the drought was to blame for the decline in water quality.

Phil Ronalds, who lives near Lake Wellington, a Ramsar-listed wetland, raised the alarm about the dead fish earlier this week.

He said diverting water from rivers for the nearby Macalister Irrigation District, and to supply Melbourne with drinking water, was part of the problem.

He said this fresh water kept the saline water at bay at Lake Wellington and across the extensive Gippsland Lakes network.

Meanwhile Federation University environmental scientist Jessica Reeves blamed the current drought and summer bushfires for a decline in water quality across the lakes and increasing salinity.

“With rising sea levels, deepening of the entrance and also the decreased rainfall, there just isn’t enough fresh water coming in to dilute the system,” Dr Reeves said.

You can read the full article HERE.

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