Muddy water proves fatal for fish in the Condamine River

Some of the dead fish from the weir behind Scots PGC.
Some of the dead fish from the weir behind Scots PGC. Contributed

THERE'S nothing fishy about the death of yellowbellies in the Condamine River over the past few days, a local fish expert says.

A concerned resident contacted the Daily News at the end of last week to report a number of dead fish he spotted at the weir behind Scots PGC.

Yellowbelly, golden perch, cod, bony bream, catfish and and carp were floating in the river and lining the banks.

Warwick Fish Stocking Association secretary Ed Kemp said the most likely explanation for the fish deaths was the influx of rain across the region.

"The Condamine River had stopped running in past weeks and all the dirty sediment and mud has caused a few fish to die," he said.

"You get muddy water where there is no oxygen and the fish can't breathe and instead of swimming they jump out on the bank and try to escape the water.

"They basically commit suicide."

Mr Kemp said the unusual problem is usually short-lived, with a similar incident a couple of years ago clearing in less than a day.

"The last time it happened we went down there and were catching the fish and releasing them about 30m downstream and they were swimming away fine," he said.

He added that there had also been reports of the water "running bright red" further upstream near Murray's Bridge over the past few days and said this was also related to the wet weather.

"The first surge of water coming down the river has caused turbidity in the water (and) a lack of oxygen in the water, thus causing some fish to die," he said.

Topics:  condamine river environment fish mud sediment

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