‘Distressing scenes’: Thousands of dead fish wash up on Sydney shores

·2-min read

Thousands of dead fish have washed up on Sydney’s shores in “distressing” scenes.

The NSW Environment Protection Authority said it first found dead fish at Haslams Creek at Sydney Olympic Park last Thursday.

“Water quality monitoring indicates low dissolved oxygen in the water was the cause,” the department tweeted.

The low oxygen levels were believed to be a result of organic matter spilling into the waterways after heavy rain.

“Sydney Olympic Park Authority is cleaning up, but dead fish may be observed in the area over the weekend.”

Dead fish seen washed up at Parramatta River at Rydalmere in Sydney.
The state government is investigating after thousands of dead fish washed up at Parramatta River in Rydalmere. Source: NSW Environment Protection Agency

Second fish kill in Parramatta River

The department later tweeted on Monday a second fish kill had been found at Parramatta River in Rydalmere which it also believed was caused by low dissolved oxygen levels in the water.

It called the find “distressing”.

Chris Bahjat, who fishes in the Parramatta River, spoke to the ABC describing the discovery as “disappointing”.

“I've seen a few fish kills but not like this," he said.

"Literally, thousands of thousands of dead fish, everywhere you walk, a metre apart."

Dead fish are seen at Haslams Creek in Parramatta.
Dead fish are seen at Haslams Creek in Parramatta.

The low dissolved oxygen levels causing the fish deaths has since been confirmed to Yahoo News Australia by a spokesperson for the department.

“Preliminary investigations indicate low oxygen levels were most likely due to natural causes,” the department said.

“Observations by EPA Officers indicate low oxygen levels were caused by high intensity storms that washed organic matter into the waterway, which combined with elevated water temperatures, has caused the fish deaths.

“It is difficult to provide exact numbers but EPA officers estimate a few thousand fish have died, potentially up to 4000, in the Parramatta River at Rydalmere.”

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