News, Culture & Society

Macleay River: Thousands of fish die as ash flushes into water


Buying or leasing a car in the UK? Check MOT of car before you do.

The dark side of the downpour: Rain bomb flushes ash from the bushfires into a river and kills tens of thousands of fish

  • Fish have been washing up dead on the shores of a NSW river in their thousands 
  • Locals said rain has caused ash from bushfires to run into the river system 
  • Department of Primary Industries said the ash can cause drops in water oxygen 

Thousands of fish have died after rain washed ash from bushfires into the Macleay River on the NSW mid-north coast.

Bellbrook resident Arthur Bain said tens of thousands of dead fish lined a 60-kilometre stretch of the river northwest of Kempsey on Saturday.

He said heavy rain which fell at the Apsley River near Walcha earlier in the week washed ash and sediment through the catchment and depleted oxygen levels.

There are fears thousands of fish have died after rain washed ash from bushfires into the Macleay River in NSW 

Bellbrook resident Arthur Bain said tens of thousands of dead fish lined a 60-kilometre stretch of the river northwest of Kempsey on Saturday

Bellbrook resident Arthur Bain said tens of thousands of dead fish lined a 60-kilometre stretch of the river northwest of Kempsey on Saturday 

‘It could be tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands,’ he told AAP on Thursday.

‘It’s devastating. It’s unprecedented.’

Residents put a water pump in the river to help boost oxygen and keep some fish alive.

The pump ran from Saturday morning to Wednesday with Mr Bain helping to refuel it every three hours.

‘It’s a bit like putting a bandaid on a broken arm but what else can you do?’ he said.

He warned there’ll be more mass deaths as soon as there’s another big rain event.

James Prichard, who has lived in the area for 25 years, spent Saturday relocating up to 80 eels from the river to local dams.

‘Every minute of it was worthwhile,’ he told AAP on Thursday.

The eels are the main cleaners of the river system and are ‘vital’ to its recovery.

Mr Prichard said within one 50 square metre area there would have been more than 700 dead fish including bass, herring, bullhead mullet, golden eye mullet and gudgeon.

‘What we need is the NSW Department of Primary Industries here giving us big tanks to keep these fish alive.’

Mr Prichard – a founding member of Bellbrook Social Fishing Club – said knowing the locals in Menindee got pumps in the Darling River for the fish during last summer’s mass death event helped them to do the same at the weekend.

The NSW Department of Primary Industries has received reports of fish deaths in the upper and middle Macleay River.

Rainfall is adding ash from the bushfires and other sediment to catchments in the region which can cause rapid drops of oxygen levels in the water, a department spokesman told AAP in a statement.

‘DPI Fisheries holds concerns around the potential impact on fish and other aquatic organisms over the coming weeks, as predicted rainfall is likely to mobilise sediment and ash in coastal waterways.’ 

James Prichard, who has lived in the area for 25 years, spent Saturday relocating up to 80 eels from the river to local dams

James Prichard, who has lived in the area for 25 years, spent Saturday relocating up to 80 eels from the river to local dams 

Rainfall is adding ash from the bushfires and other sediment to catchments in the region which can cause rapid drops of oxygen levels in the water, a department spokesman told AAP in a statement

Rainfall is adding ash from the bushfires and other sediment to catchments in the region which can cause rapid drops of oxygen levels in the water, a department spokesman told AAP in a statement 

 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


Comments are closed.