Bowes River fish kill cause in­con­clu­sive

Midwest Times - - NEWS - Jon Sol­mund­son

Rain­fall com­bined with warm con­di­tions and stag­nant wa­ter ap­pear to be the cause of a re­cent mass fish kill at Bowes River, though De­part­ment of Wa­ter tests were in­con­clu­sive.

About 1000 dead fish were spot­ted washed up on the river­bank, with lo­cals alert­ing the Shire of Northamp­ton on Fe­bru­ary 1, though the ac­tual fish kill event is es­ti­mated to have taken place be­tween Jan­uary 29 and Jan­uary 30. In­ves­ti­ga­tors from the De­part­ment of Fish­eries and De­part­ment of Wa­ter at­tended the scene to col­lect wa­ter and fish sam­ples, but they may have spot­ted the prob­lem a lit­tle too late.

DoW Mid West Gas­coyne Man­ager Dar­ryl Ab­bott said their pathol­ogy tests “yielded an in­con­clu­sive di­ag­no­sis due to the state of the sam­ples” — mean­ing they had de­com­posed too much to be of use.

“But one sam­ple showed ev­i­dence of gill dam­age con­sis­tent with aquatic par­a­sites found in wa­ter bod­ies high in or­ganic mat­ter and de­bris,” he said. “Rain­fall in the catch­ment run­ning into stag­nant wa­ter and warm con­di­tions are ex­pected to have con­trib­uted to the poor wa­ter qual­ity that led to the fish deaths.”

Mr Ab­bott said the wa­ter sam­ples also had a high sed­i­ment load, and var­i­ous species of al­gae.

Kali­cia Oak­ley, se­cond from left in se­cond row from front, with the 2017 WA Po­lice Abo­rig­i­nal Cadet Pro­gram mem­bers. Pic­ture: Twit­ter

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