Dead fish found in Stokes Inlet
Released 20 Aug 2007
Reports of dead fish in the Stokes Inlet near Esperance are being investigated by the Department of Water (DOW), working in partnership with the Department of Environment and Conservation and Fisheries WA.
The Department of Water's acting regional manager, Chris Gunby said today that the local ranger initially reported the finding of dead fish in the inlet on Monday the 13th of August. DOW staff attended the site and substantiated the report.
Mr Gunby said investigations were continuing and both water and fish samples had been sent for analysis, though it was anticipated results would not be available for three to four weeks.
"Reports of dead fish in estuarine waters are occasionally received by us after significant rain," Mr Gunby said.
"In the majority of investigated cases, we find that the fish deaths are due to low oxygen in the water which is sometimes a consequence of the heavy rain.
"In other cases marine fish are caught unawares by freshwater, and very infrequently a contaminant may be involved.
"The Department will now continue to investigate the Stokes Inlet and monitor the situation, but in the meantime, people are advised not to collect or eat dead fish found in the vicinity.
"At this stage there is no reason to suggest live fish should be affected."
Mr Gunby said the public was encouraged to report any dead fish to the Department of Water on 9842 5760.
Contact: Peter Collins
Phone: (08) 6364 6848 / 0434 603 441