Thousands of dead fish found in Australian river

Photo: Reuters / Australian Broadcasting Corporation

A mass fish die-off is to blame on low levels of oxygen in Australia's second longest river that occurred in a remote part of New South Wales (NSW) state, environmental authorities said.

Thousands of dead fish have been found this week in the Darling River near the town of Menindee, around 1,000 km west of the state capital Sydney.

Similar events occurred in the same area in 2018 and 2019 where up to a million fish died from poor water flow, poor water quality, and sudden temperature changes.

The NSW Department of Planning and Environment’s water division said on Twitter that “dissolved oxygen levels remain a concern for fish health” in the area.

“There is a large number of fish deaths (predominantly Bony Herring) in the Darling River between Lake Wetherell and Menindee township,” the agency said on Friday. Hundreds of thousands of dead fish had been found in the river, and state fisheries officers had been sent to the area to assess the issue, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation reported on Saturday.

News outlets have posted photos of the disaster on Twitter. The state planning and environment agency warned river oxygen levels could fall further this weekend as temperatures rise, before cooler conditions return next week.