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DPI monitors Yamba fish kill

Geoff Helisma

Fisheries staff from the NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) have investigated the deaths of many fish Kalora Lake, Yamba, last week.

The Independent emailed the following questions to DPI’s media unit.

  • What was the cause of the kill?
  • Is any remedial work necessary to restore the health of the waterway (assuming that might be an issue)?
  • Please advise of any other issues addressed by the EPA/DPI regarding the fish kill?
  • What role (if any) did Clarence Valley Council play in this event?
  • Was there any third party responsible for the kill and, if so, what, if any, action has/will the EPA/DPI take?

The DPI media unit replied: “DPI Fisheries is aware of the reported fish death event and officers have investigated.

“It is likely that the fish death event was caused by low dissolved oxygen levels and the inability of affected fish to escape from the water body.

“Fish deaths are not unusual following flooding and significant weather events, which can affect water quality and have localised impacts on native fish species.

“DPI Fisheries staff will continue to monitor the situation with local stakeholders and other Government agencies.

Meanwhile, the NSW Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) is “working with CVC and NSW Fisheries to investigate the fish kill”.

In an emailed response the EPA said, “There is no evidence of any specific pollution entering the lake which could have caused the fish kill – if local residents have any evidence of pollution, please contact the Environment Line on 131 555 with details.

“The EPA also understands that CVC will be reviewing the drains flowing out of the lake with a view to improving fish passage.”

Any fish deaths or concerning observations can be reported through the Fishers Watch Phone Line on 1800 043 536.

For more information on fish deaths, visit https://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/fishing/habitat/threats/fish-kills

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