National

Riverina fish kill ‘absolutely putrid’: MP

By AAP Newswire

A major fish kill in NSW's Riverina region has caused major uproar in the community with calls for more government support.

Thousands of dead fish found on the shore of Lake Wyangan northwest of Griffith were reported by locals on Saturday. They included the murray cod, yellow belly perch and bony bream.

NSW Murray MP Helen Dalton visited the lake on Monday and found it to be "absolutely putrid, dark in colour, full of foam and sludge with dead native fish floating up on the shore".

The Shooters, Fishers and Farmers MP compared the situation with that of the Menindee fish kill where an estimated one million fish died in January 2019.

"Over this past year, I've written urgent letters to NSW government departments urging action on Lake Wyangan and they've done nothing," Ms Dalton said.

"We have about 20 government departments that are supposed to look after our waterways but none of them seem to give a damn about water quality."

Griffith City Council said on Monday the incident was reported immediately to the NSW Environmental Protection Agency and NSW Department of Primary Industries.

Council general manager Brett Stonestreet said in a statement water samples along with samples from each fish species had been sent away for testing and that it was too soon to speculate on what caused the fish kill.

Griffith Mayor John Dal Broi said the council is working to control sediment inflow and improve water quality at the lake through the construction of a series of sedimentation ponds and wetlands while also trying to discourage the growth of blue-green algae through circulation of the water.

Griffith City Council is currently finalising a tender process to select a contractor for the sedimentation ponds and wetlands at Lake Wyangan North.

The project will be discussed at an ordinary council meeting on Tuesday.