Thousands of fish die in the Macleay

The fishkill under the bridge at Bellbrook. Image: Michelle Armson

A RECENT article published by Nambucca Guardian News has claimed severe drought, stagnant water and devastating bushfire have combined to cause the death of thousands of fish in the Macleay River.

The fish kill comes after recent rainfall across the region that has washed organic matter, sediment and ash from the Carrai East fire into the Macleay River.

NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) are investigating the reports of fish deaths in the upper and middle reaches of the Macleay River.

“Current rainfall events across the region are adding ash from the extensive bushfires throughout the region into local catchments, as well as other organic matter and sediment,” a NSW Department of Primary Industries spokesperson told Guardian News.

“In some cases this is accumulating in the refuge pools in which fish have gathered as the available water in the river has reduced because of the ongoing drought.

“Fish can be directly impacted during fires through excessive temperatures or loss of habitat, or be threatened from rapid declines in water quality if rainfall occurs in recently burnt areas.”

NSW DPI predict more fish will die in the river as more rainfall is forecast to fall in fire affected regions.

“Fish kills may continue to be reported this week with rain predicted to fall across fire affected catchments,” the spokesperson said.

DPI Fisheries is working with local landholders to continue to monitor the situation.

Community members are encouraged to report any fish deaths or observations through the Fishers Watch hotline on 1800 043 536.

Source: Nambucca Guardian News

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