Kununurra fish kill response completed
Released 02 Nov 2017
The Department of Water and Environmental regulation has completed its investigation into reports of fish deaths near Kununurra.
Reports were received on 11 October to Fisheries officers at the Kununurra office of the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD)
Local Department of Water and Environmental Regulation (DWER) and DPIRD officers responded jointly to the site located in Packsaddle Creek near the Flying Fox Road Crossing, just upstream of Dunham River.
Approximately 22 barramundi, 3 catfish and 4 sooty grunter were observed dead.
Water samples were collected, however fish were too decomposed for viable pathology samples.
Very low dissolved oxygen (DO) levels (>1mg/L) were observed in the water at the time of the response, and laboratory analysis of water quality samples found high nutrient levels but no toxic algae or farming chemicals.
It is believed that low oxygen was the likely cause of the fish deaths.
Further investigations between the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation and the Ord Irrigation Cooperative (OIC), have indicated that low oxygen levels in the water in this area may be caused by off-farm irrigation water with low levels of dissolved oxygen being released into Packsaddle Creek from a local plantation area.
“As a result, measures have been put in place to increase oxygen levels of the drainage water by introducing continuous fresh water into the system,” Kimberley District Manager Duncan Palmer said.
Oxygen levels in the water around the site will continue to be monitored until normal conditions are restored, he said.
People are asked to report any fish deaths to the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development’s 24-hour Fishwatch hotline on 1800 815 507.
Contact: Peter Collins
Phone: 6364 6848 or 0434 603 441