Thousands More Dead Fish Wash Up In Menindee
Thousands of dead fish have washed up in the lower Darling River, where just weeks ago as many as one million fish were killed.
"It's starting again," local Menindee resident Graeme McCrabb said, posting photos of the thousands of dead fish -- mostly Bony Bream -- washing up on the river's edge.
The site of the fish deaths is a stretch of river known as the Menindee weir pool, where as many as one million fish died due to low oxygen levels in the stagnant water.
Another Menindee resident, Prissy Stephens, came across a number of dead giant Murray Cod, one of which weighed 19 kilograms.
"I was just devastated," she told 10 daily.
Golden Perch struggling for air and Carp sucking the edges of the water line on the banks -- wildlife dying from no water or rotting water.
As well as fish, Stephens came across a dead kangaroo "still waiting at the last watering hole".
"Such a disgrace," she said.
Officers from the NSW Department of Primary Industries Fisheries have been deployed to the Menindee weir pool to investigate, along with neighbouring sections of the Darling River.
"It is likely linked to some rain and cooler temperatures in the Menindee area following an extended period of very hot weather," a department spokesperson said.
NSW minister for regional water Niall Blair said reports of which fish had been killed were mostly made up of Bony Bream, Macquarie perch and some carp, but said there had been no conformation of any murray cod deaths.
"Unfortunately though, we're expecting the conditions to potentially continue to deteriorate," he told reporters on Monday.
"The conditions out there are showing a lot of fish that are near the surface of the water gasping for air."
The Menindee Lakes are just 3.4 percent full, according to WaterNSW.
The ongoing ecological disaster has been blamed on years of mismanagement. The lakes were managed by the Murray-Darling Basin Authority until December 2017, when the state government stepped in.
“Dead fish and dying rivers are not because of the drought, it’s because we are extracting too much water from our rivers,” said John Williams, Honorary Professor at the Crawford School of Public Policy at the Australian National University, earlier this month.
A report following the South Australian royal commission into allegations of water theft from the Murray-Darling Bason by rogue irrigators is due in February.
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