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Government of Western Australia - Department of Fisheries
Sunday 26 April 2020

Fish Kill Notification for the Collie River, near Australind

​The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) has been assisting the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation (DWER) in investigating a fish kill along the Collie River, near Australind.

The fish deaths were first reported on the 23rd April and involved several hundred fish along a five and a half kilometre stretch of the river, centred around the area known as The Elbow. 

Thanks is due to the members of the public who reported this fish kill to FishWatch.

The dead fish are mostly black bream, but a minimal number of other species have also been reported including whiting, taylor, yellow-eyed mullet and puffer fish.

Samples were obtained by DWER on Friday and Fisheries officers from DPIRD inspected the area today and collected further samples.

The recent rain and high tides may be contributing factors but the samples will undergo laboratory testing in order to determine what has caused the fish kill.

The situation will continue to be monitored and updates will be issued when further information is available.

In the mean-time we urge people to stay safe, by following the general Department of Health fish kill advice:

    • not to swim in areas of water with large numbers of dead and decomposing fish because they may contain high levels of bacteria and have an objectionable odour;
    • not to fish in water with large numbers of dead fish;
    • temporarily not to collect or consume fish from the waters near a fish kill;
    • not to collect and use dead fish for bait or consumption because of the risk of high levels of bacteria; and
    • not to allow pets and other animals to come into contact with dead or decomposing fish either in the water or on shore.

Fish kills should be reported to our FishWatch 24-hour hotline on 1800 815 507.

DPIRD is responsible for responding to fish kill events that occur in ocean environments but when necessary our two departments work together.

DWER manages investigations on fish kills that occur in estuaries, rivers and naturally occurring inland water bodies.

In both circumstances, DPIRD’s laboratories carry out testing of any fish samples assessed as suitable for that purpose to determine if diseases are present. This can take some time and it may not be possible to identify a single definitive cause, but every effort is made to establish probable factors.

Last modified: 14/05/2020 4:34 PM

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