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Old river beauties perish

Tuesday, 8th January, 2019

The size of the fish being pulled out of the Menindee weir pool.PICTURE: Rob Gregory The size of the fish being pulled out of the Menindee weir pool.PICTURE: Rob Gregory

By Emily McInerney

Murray Cod more than 100 centimetres in length will be given to the Department of Fisheries after Sunday’s fish kill at the Menindee weir pool.

Menindee local Rob Gregory said he would give the fish to the department so they could investigate their deaths.

By Monday morning, the situation was “a thousand times worse”, Rob said.

“I’m no scientist, but I’ve heard that when the temperature drops overnight it cause the oxygen to deplete.

“This is causing the fish kill.

“You go along and you see fish alive gulping the air at the top of the water.

“The sun goes up and it puts some oxygen back in the water.

“Some of the Cod were over 100 centimetres in length, some were averaging 90 centimetres.

“There were a few dead Cod this morning, but most of the larger ones are already gone.

“It is definitely a tragedy.

“It’s the last straw in the debate on the Menindee Lake being drained.

“It’s a man-made disaster, the lakes have been drained and there are no flows.”

Rob said the outbreaks of blue-green algae haven’t helped either.

“The lakes are above the three per cent mark and the water out of Pamamaroo is not good.

“If this was a whale on Bondi Beach, there would be an uproar. It would be worldwide news.

“Cods are like our whales, but we don’t get the coverage out here.”

He said the fishing industry depends on the breeding in Menindee Lakes.

“The Menindee Lakes is a breeding ground for the basin.

“This is an absolute disaster, a tragedy to the fishing industry.

“Recreational fishing depends on these fish.”

Rob’s photos of the environmental disaster have appeared on Facebook and have been shared thousands of times.

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