Investigation underway after hundreds of fish die in NSW lake

·Environment Editor
·2-min read

Investigations are continuing after a mass fish kill rocked a community in greater Newcastle in NSW.

Reports suggest hundreds or even thousands of fish were found dead last week on the banks of Lake Macquarie, one of the southern hemisphere’s largest saltwater lagoons.

Images supplied to Yahoo News Australia show various species lining the shore, including a puffer fish. Another photograph shows what looks to be an eagle ray being pulled from the water.

Authorities are investigating a mass fish kill at Lake Macquarie, NSW. Source: EPA
Authorities are investigating a mass fish kill at Lake Macquarie, NSW. Source: EPA
Hundreds of dead fish have been found on Lake Macquarie's shore. Source: EPA
Hundreds of dead fish have been found on Lake Macquarie's shore. Source: EPA

Some locals fear most of the fish in Lake Macquarie could have been killed during the event, ABC News reported.

"We've had a few fish kills previously … but this is an enormous fish kill," a resident told the broadcaster.

Investigators take testing samples from Lake Macquarie

The state’s Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) became aware of the die-off on Friday, and sent field officers to the scene to collect fish and water samples for analysis.

“Since initial inspections, the EPA has observed hundreds of dead fish of various species and sizes,” an EPA spokesperson said.

“Field officers also noted greying around the gills, which could suggest oxygen depletion.

“A decrease in oxygen content in water is a natural event that can cause rapid fish deaths.”

The EPA began investigating after it was alerted to the incident on Friday, and later returned to the scene on the weekend. Source: EPA
The EPA began investigating after it was alerted to the incident on Friday, and later returned to the scene on the weekend. Source: EPA

The EPA confirmed they returned to the scene with NSW Fisheries to collect further samples, and are working to determine whether pollution has led to the kill.

It instructed council to remove the dead fish from the area and dispose of them.

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