SAD SIGHT: A research project is under way into the history of fish kills in the Richmond River. This was the scene at Ballina Quays during the 2008 fish kill.
SAD SIGHT: A research project is under way into the history of fish kills in the Richmond River. This was the scene at Ballina Quays during the 2008 fish kill.

Fish kill info wanted

A RESEARCH project is looking for hear from locals with any information on fish kills in the Richmond River, particularly prior to the 1980s.


The most recent fish kills have been in 2001 and 2008.


Both came after a summer flood, and both saw the river closed to all forms of fishing for several months, severely impacting on the local economy.


Industry & Investment NSW is now researching the history of fish kill events in the river.


“The study has been funded by the Community Coastcare program and is being completed on behalf of the Richmond Floodplain Committee,” said Simon Walsh, Wollongbar-based Conservation Manager with I&I NSW.
“Of particular interest are the major fish kills that can follow large summer floods.


“These are a result of inundated floodplain pastures which decompose, causing massive de-oxygenation of the water that in turn suffocates the fish.”


“Some early findings are indicating that these types of occurrences were seen during the late 1920s and early 1930s.”


Mr Walsh said information gathered would be analysed to see if there were any patterns to the large fish kills.


“We have fairly good information on more recent fish kill events since about 1980 – but prior to that we are relying on limited records such as old newspaper or newsletter articles,” he said.


If you have any information about records of historic fish kills in the Richmond River, contact Simon Walsh on 6626 1256.


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