Fish kills in NSW

Recent fish kills reported in NSW due to environmental conditions

Fish kills are defined as a sudden mass mortality of wild fish. In NSW we are likely to see further severe fish kills across coastal and inland catchments during the summer of 2019/20. Recent reports are included in the table below, and will continue to be updated over the summer.

Fish kills can occur at any time although data indicates fish kills are more likely to occur in summer or following sudden changes in daily temperature.The prolonged dry conditions being experienced across NSW, coupled with long range forecasts from the Bureau of Meteorology indicate these conditions will continue throughout the summer.

This is impacting both inland and coastal waterways with significant concerns held for the catchments in the northern Basin, including the Border Rivers, Gwydir, Namoi, Macquarie and Barwon-Darling, as well as the Lower Darling and Lachlan catchments.

The extensive bushfires across NSW present an additional risk for native fish populations in both coastal and inland catchments. Fish can be directly impacted during fires through extreme high temperatures, loss of habitat, or be threatened from rapid declines in water quality if rainfall occurs in recently burnt areas. Run-off from rainfall events can wash large amounts of ash and sediment into rivers following fires, causing rapid drops in oxygen levels and threatening the survival of fish populations.

Inland waterways and coastal lakes and lagoons are also likely to experience fish kills this summer with increasing water temperatures, stratification and no or low flow.

Response actions

Native fish drought response actions undertaken from August – December 2019 to minimise fish deaths include the use of water for the environment, fish rescues and relocations, and aeration or mixing of refuge pools. These actions have been undertaken in a number of at risk catchments.

NSW Native Fish Drought Response 2019/2020

Read more about the NSW Native Fish Drought Response 2019/2020.

Bushfire impacts on native fish

Find information on the impacts of bushfires on native fish.

What is stratification?

Stratification is when the surface of the water heats up more than the deeper water. That warmer layer tends to be warm and well-oxygenated compared to the deeper water that is colder and oxygen-depleted.

Thermal stratification

Key

  1. Blue Green Algal Bloom
    Algal flourish in warm and still conditions, particularly in the absence of high flow
  2. Surface Water Layer
    Warm, high nutrient load from run off.
    Dissolved oxygen by day, depletion overnight
    Limited fish habitat
  3. Deep Water Layer
    Cooler, low light penetration, low dissolved oxygen (hypoxia), Poor fish habitat
  4. Decomposition of organic matter
    Depletes dissolved oxygen
For an accessible explanation of this graphic contact the author Sarah.Fairfull@dpi.nsw.gov.au

De-stratification ("Turn over")

Key

  1. Sudden weather events or small increases in flow
    Can mix the warmer surface water and cooler deep water – essentially breaking down the temperature stratification
  2. These changes can mix the warmer surface water with cooler deep water
    Algal blooms may also be disrupted, potentially increasing decomposition (and further depleting oxygen). This means even at the surface dissolved oxygen levels can become critical, killing fish.
For an accessible explanation of this graphic contact the author Sarah.Fairfull@dpi.nsw.gov.au

Investigating and reporting

Recent fish death events

Updated: 1 April 2020 (11am)

For more information on 2019 fish kill events, please click here.

February & March 2020

Location and date kill observed

Cause and extent

Murray Darling catchments in NSW

Lake Wetherell, Wyndalle to Viewmont (11-13 March)

Report of up to 100,000 dead Bony Herring with approximately 30 dead Murray Cod and 45-50 dead Golden Perch.

Report coincided with the arrival of flow into the lake. Suspected cause was destratification of the upstream section of the lake, leading to initial poor water quality including a reduction in Dissolved Oxygen.

Macquarie River, near Bathurst (9 March)

Report of several large 9dead Murray Cod.

Cause was episodic rainfall events that caused short and sharp flow in the river. This can cause a rapid reduction in dissolved oxygen levels due to large volumes of organic material entering the river system.

Lachlan River, Forbes (6 March)

Report of 10 to 100 dead fish including Golden Perch and Murray Cod.

Cause was episodic rainfall events that caused short and sharp flow in the river. This can cause a rapid reduction in dissolved oxygen levels due to large volumes of organic material entering the river system.

Macquarie River, Above 20A Regulator (25 Feb)

Report of approximately 40 dead Bony Bream in the Macquarie River above the 20A Regulator.

Cause was episodic rainfall events that caused short and sharp flow in the river. This can cause a rapid reduction in dissolved oxygen levels due to large volumes of organic material entering the river system.

Rose Isle, Darling River  (25 Feb)

Report of thousands of dead Bonny Herring.

Report coincided with the arrival of flow into the Barwon-Darling River. Suspected cause was destratification of the upstream section of the Louth Weir Pool, leading to initial poor water quality including a reduction in Dissolved Oxygen.

Burrendong Dam, Macquarie River (20 Feb)

Report of thousands of dead Carp.

Cause was episodic rainfall events that caused short and sharp flow into Burrendong Dam. This can cause a rapid reduction in dissolved oxygen levels due to large volumes of organic material entering the river system.

Barwon-Darling River, near Brewarrina (17 Feb)

Report of thousands of dead Bony Herring and low numbers of dead Golden and SIlver Perch.

Report coincided with the arrival of flow into the Barwon-Darling River. Suspected cause was destratification of the upstream section of the Brewarrina Weir Pool, leading to initial poor water quality including a reduction in Dissolved Oxygen.

Severn River, Dundee (8 Feb)

Report of approximately more than 100 dead fish including Murray Cod and Eel-Tailed Catfish.

Cause was episodic rainfall events that caused short and sharp flow in the river. This can cause a rapid reduction in dissolved oxygen levels due to large volumes of organic material entering the river system.

Mehi River, Gwydirfield Road at Moree (5 Feb)

Report of hundreds of dead Bony Bream in the Mehi River.

Likely cause was episodic rainfall events that caused short and sharp flow in the river. This can cause a rapid reduction in dissolved oxygen levels due to large volumes of organic material entering the river system.

Cudgegong River, Guntawang (5 Feb)

Reports of hundreds of dead fish species included Murray Cod, Golden Perch, Silver Perch and Carp.

Cause was episodic rainfall events that caused short and sharp flow in the river. This can cause a rapid reduction in dissolved oxygen levels due to large volumes of organic material entering the river system.

Mooki River at Caroona (3 Feb)

Reports of hundreds of dead fish on the Mooki, species included Golden Perch, Murray Cod, Eel-Tailed Catfish, Bony Bream and Carp.

Cause was episodic rainfall events that caused short and sharp flow in the river. This can cause a rapid reduction in dissolved oxygen levels due to large volumes of organic material entering the river system.

Severn River (Wells Crossing), Ashford (3 Feb)

Report of approximately 100 dead fish including Murray Cod and Eel-Tailed Catfish.

Cause was episodic rainfall events that caused short and sharp flow in the river. This can cause a rapid reduction in dissolved oxygen levels due to large volumes of organic material entering the river system.

Namoi River, Boggabri (1 Feb)

Report of hundreds of dead fish, including Murray Cod, Golden Perch and Carp.

Cause was episodic rainfall events that caused short and sharp flow in the river. This can cause a rapid reduction in dissolved oxygen levels due to large volumes of organic material entering the river system.

Coastal catchments in NSW

Willinga Lake, Shoalhaven (9 March)

Report of less than 10 dead fish, including Bream, Flathead, Mullet and Luderick.

Reduction in dissolved oxygen (DO) levels caused by a significant rainfall/flooding event, followed by hot weather, leading to discharge of large volumes of critically low DO water entering the waterway via creeks and drains.

Glenbrook Lagoon, Blue Mountains (9 March)

Report of 100 dead fish including Gambusia, Catfish and Eels.

Reduction in dissolved oxygen (DO) levels caused by significant rainfall/flooding event on floodplain, followed by hot weather, leading to discharge of large volumes of critically low DO water entering the waterway via creeks and drains.

Laverty’s Gap, Wilson’s Creek (6 March)Report of one dead turtle and one crustacean. Cause is still under investigation.
Romiaka Channel, Clarence River, Palmers Island (28 Feb)

Report of hundreds of dead Bream and Mullet.

Reduction in dissolved oxygen (DO) levels caused by significant rainfall/flooding event on floodplain, followed by hot weather, leading to discharge of large volumes of critically low DO water entering the waterway via creeks and drains.

Congwong Beach, Congwong Bay (25 Feb)

Report of dead sea urchins.

Suspected cause is extreme low tides with freshwater inundated in the area that stressed stationary animals and eventually washed them onshore.

Wiangaree Lagoon, Richmond catchment (24 Feb)

Report of approximately 30 dead fish including Eel-tailed Catfish.

Reduction in dissolved oxygen (DO) levels caused by significant rainfall/flooding event on floodplain, followed by hot weather, leading large volumes of critically low DO water entering the Lagoon.

Bungawalbin Creek, Bungawalbin (24 Feb)

Report of 10-100 dead fish including Mullet.

Reduction in dissolved oxygen (DO) levels caused by significant rainfall/flooding event on floodplain, followed by hot weather, leading to discharge of large volumes of critically low DO water entering the waterway via creeks and drains.

Emigrant Creek (Feb 21)

Report of thousands of dead fish including Sea Mullet, Dusky Flathead, Luderick, Bass, Sand Whiting and Yellowfin Bream.

Reduction in dissolved oxygen (DO) levels caused by significant rainfall/flooding event on floodplain, followed by hot weather, leading to discharge of large volumes of critically low DO water entering the waterway via creeks and drains.

Cudgen Creek, Kingscliff (21 Feb)

Report of 10-100 dead fish including Bream, Mullet and Eels.

Reduction in dissolved oxygen (DO) levels caused by significant rainfall/flooding event on floodplain, followed by hot weather, leading to discharge of large volumes of critically low DO water entering the waterway via creeks and drains.

Tuckombil Canal, Rocky Mouth Creek, Evans Head (21 Feb)

Report of hundreds of dead fish including Sea Mullet, Freshwater Mullet, Fork Tail Catfish, Herring, Bass and Estuary Perch.

Reduction in dissolved oxygen (DO) levels caused by significant rainfall/flooding event on floodplain, followed by hot weather, leading to discharge of large volumes of critically low DO water entering the waterway via creeks and drains.

Tuggerah Lakes Canton Beach (20 Feb)

Report of thousands of dead fish including Bream, Flathead, Mullet, Eel, Garfish and Leatherjacket.

Reduction in dissolved oxygen (DO) levels caused by significant rainfall, followed by hot weather, leading to discharge of large volumes of critically low DO water entering the lake.

Richmond River, East Wardell Boat Ramp (19 Feb)

Report of hundreds of dead fishing including Bream, Flathead, Garfish, Whiting, Mullet, Herring ranging from 10cm to 40cm.

Reduction in dissolved oxygen (DO) levels caused by significant rainfall/flooding event on floodplain, followed by hot weather, leading to discharge of large volumes of critically low DO water entering the waterway via creeks and drains.

Nulama Pond, Taree (19 Feb)

Report of thousands of dead mullet deposited into Nulama Pond, Taree following receding floodwaters.

Reduction in dissolved oxygen (DO) levels caused by significant rainfall/flooding event on floodplain, followed by hot weather, leading to discharge of large volumes of critically low DO water entering the waterway via creeks and drains.

Alumy Creek, South Arm & Shark Creek Grafton (19 Feb)

Reports of thousands of dead fish including mullet and eels.

Reduction in dissolved oxygen (DO) levels caused by significant rainfall/flooding event on floodplain, followed by hot weather, leading to discharge of large volumes of critically low DO water entering the waterway via creeks and drains.

Bengello Creek, South Broulee Beach (19 Feb)

Reports of 10-100 dead fish at creek mouth including small estuary fish and long finned eels.

Cause unknown.

Richmond River, Woodburn Bridge (18 Feb)

Reports of hundreds of dead Mullet.

Reduction in dissolved oxygen (DO) levels caused by significant rainfall/flooding event on floodplain, followed by hot weather, leading to discharge of large volumes of critically low DO water entering the waterway via creeks and drains.

Belmore River & Kinchella Creek, Macleay Estuary (18 Feb)

Reports of hundreds of thousands of dead fish in an ongoing event including Mullet, Bream, Estuary Perch and other small estuary fish and prawns.

Reduction in dissolved oxygen (DO) levels caused by significant rainfall/flooding event on floodplain, followed by hot weather, leading to discharge of large volumes of critically low DO water entering the waterway via creeks and drains.

Pottsville Canal, Pottsville (17 Feb)

Report of approximately 10 dead Mullet.

Reduction in dissolved oxygen (DO) levels caused by significant rainfall/flooding event on floodplain, followed by hot weather, leading to discharge of large volumes of critically low DO water entering the waterway via creeks and drains.

North Creek, Prospect & Chickiba Lakes, Ballina (16 Feb)

Reports of thousands of dead fish including Bream, Leather jacket and Trumpeter.

Cause unknown.

Cudgera & Christies Creek, Hastings Point (16 Feb)

Report of thousands of dead fish including Mangrove Jack, Sand Whiting, Bream, Mudcrabs  and numerous small baitfish.

Reduction in dissolved oxygen (DO) levels caused by significant rainfall/flooding event on floodplain, followed by hot weather, leading to discharge of large volumes of critically low DO water entering the waterway via creeks and drains.

Belongil Creek, Byron Bay (15 Feb)

Report of approximately 10 dead fish including Mullet and Flathead and Prawns.

Reduction in dissolved oxygen (DO) levels caused by significant rainfall/flooding event on floodplain, followed by hot weather, leading to discharge of large volumes of critically low DO water entering the waterway via creeks and drains. This system is an ICOLL that has opened to the sea facilitating a drawdown of surrounding floodwaters.

Moruya River, Shelley Beach (14 Feb)

Report of hundreds of dead fish including Flounder, Anglerfish, Blue Swimmer Crabs and Kingfish.

Reduction in dissolved oxygen levels due to large volumes of organic debris, sediment and bushfire ash being washed into local waterways following large rainfall events.

Tuross Lake, Tuross Head (13 Feb)

Report of 10-100 fish including Bream, Mullet, Whiting and Black Fish.

Reduction in dissolved oxygen levels due to large volumes of organic debris, sediment and bushfire ash being washed into local waterways following large rainfall events.

Rocky Mouth Creek, Woodburn (13 Feb)

Report of hundreds of dead Mullet.

Reduction in dissolved oxygen (DO) levels caused by significant rainfall/flooding event on floodplain, followed by hot weather, leading to discharge of large volumes of critically low DO water entering the waterway via creeks and drains.

Mummaga Lake, Dalmeny (12 Feb)

Report of hundreds of dead toad fish.

Reduction in dissolved oxygen levels due to large volumes of organic debris, sediment and bushfire ash being washed into local waterways following large rainfall events.

Sutherland Point, Kurnell (12 Feb)

Report of thousands of dead Sea Urchins, Abalone and Mixed Shellfish.

Significant rainfall events occurred over a short period of time creating a high run-off that affected organisms at the shore experiencing the king low tide.

Clybucca Creek, Macleay Estuary, Menarcobrinni flood gates (11 Feb)

Report of thousands of dead fish including Garfish, Mullet, Blackfish, Silver Biddy, Flathead, Bream and Whiting.

Recent rainfall events have caused flooding of the backswamp system resulting in deoxygenated and low pH water, killing fish upstream and downstream of the gates.

Killick Creek, Kempsey (11 Feb)

Report of thousands of dead fish including Yellowfin Bream, Mullet, Longtail Eels and Flathead.

Stressed fish observed gasping at the water surface indicating low dissolved oxygen levels present. Cause was episodic rainfall events that caused short and sharp flow. This can cause a rapid reduction in dissolved oxygen levels due to large volumes of organic material entering the river system.

Fine Flower Creek, Clarence Catchment (7 Feb)

Report of approximately 150 to 200 dead fish including Mullet and Perch.

Likely cause being low dissolved oxygen within an isolated pool receiving minimal inflows.

Karuah River (freshwater section), Stroud Hill Road (6 Feb)

Report of hundreds of dead fish including Eels, Yellow Eye Mullet, Sea Mullet, Gudgeons, Tandnas Catfish.

Cause was episodic rainfall events that caused short and sharp flow in the river. This can cause a rapid reduction in dissolved oxygen levels due to large volumes of organic material entering the river system.

Upper Corindi River (5 Feb)

Report of 10 to 100 dead Mullet.

Cause was episodic rainfall events that caused short and sharp flow in the river. This can cause a rapid reduction in dissolved oxygen levels due to large volumes of organic material entering the river system.

Cockle Creek, Pelican Sanctuary Lagoon, Teralba (5 Feb)

Report of hundreds of dead Mullet.

Likely cause being low dissolved oxygen within an isolated pool receiving minimal inflows.

Cooks River, Bankside Avenue, Earlwood (4 Feb)

Report of approximately 10-100 dead fish including Silver Mullet and Yellow-Finned Bream.

Investigated by EPA. Water testing revealed slightly elevated ammonia levels, this may indicate sewage overflow. Further testing was unable to confirm and levels have since returned to normal range.

Crystal Water Lagoon, Sapphire Beach (3 Feb)

Report of less than ten dead Mullet.

Likely cause is critically low dissolved oxygen related to low water levels in dam and excessive algae and aquatic weed growth from high nutrient levels.

Hollingworth Creek, Wilsons Creek (3 Feb)

Small event with approximately five fish affected.

Likely cause is temperature and critically low dissolved oxygen levels caused from low water level in creek and hot weather.

St Joseph’s College Lagoon, Upper Colo Road (1 Feb)

Report of hundreds to thousands of dead fish including Bass, Eels, Common Carp and Long Neck Turtles.

Likely cause is temperature, low – no water in lagoon and critically low dissolved oxygen.

January 2020

Location and date kill observed

Cause and extent

Murray Darling catchments in NSW

Namoi River, Narrabri (Jan 31)

Report of approximately a thousand dead fish. Species included Murray Cod, Golden Perch and Silver Perch.

Cause is episodic rainfall events that caused short and sharp flow in the river. This caused a rapid reduction in dissolved oxygen levels due to organic material runoff.

Namoi River, Cushan’s Reserve at Gunnedah (Jan 31)

50 dead fish including Murray Cod, Golden Perch and Common Carp.

Cause is episodic rainfall events that caused short and sharp flow in the river. This caused a rapid reduction in dissolved oxygen levels due to organic material runoff.

Puttabucca Wetlands, Mudgee (Jan 30)

Report of 10 to 100 dead Carp.

Likely cause being low dissolved oxygen within an isolated pool receiving minimal inflows.

Macquarie River, downstream of Warren (Jan 30)

Report of thousands of dead fish including Murray Cod, Golden Perch, Silver Perch, Bony Bream, Common Carp and Shrimp.

Cause is episodic rainfall events that caused short and sharp flow in the river. This caused a rapid reduction in dissolved oxygen levels due to organic material runoff.

Swanbrook Creek, Inverell (Jan 30)

Report of 30 to 40 dead fish with Murray Cod and Eel-tailed Catfish affected.

Cause was episodic rainfall events that caused short and sharp flow in the river. This caused a rapid reduction in dissolved oxygen levels due to organic material runoff.

Barwon River, Brewarrina (Jan 30)

Report of approximately a thousand dead fish. Reported species affected were Bony Bream and Murray Cod.

Cause was no inflows and drying refuge pools due to drought conditions.

Gwydir River, Downstream of Riverview Road crossing near Bingara (Jan 30)

Report of hundreds of dead Carp.

Cause was episodic rainfall events that caused short and sharp flow in the river. This caused a rapid reduction in dissolved oxygen levels due to organic material runoff.

Namoi River, Kibah Station near Carroll (Jan 29)

Approximately 50 dead fish were reported as dead. Species affected were Murray Cod and Carp.

Likely cause is episodic rainfall events that caused short and sharp flow in the river. This caused a rapid reduction in dissolved oxygen levels due to organic material runoff.

Abercrombie River, at Native Dog Hole (Jan 28)

Small fish kill affecting under 10 fish - including Golden Perch and Murray Cod.

Likely cause is episodic rainfall events that caused short and sharp flow in the river. This caused a rapid reduction in dissolved oxygen levels due to organic material runoff.

Tarcutta Creek, near Windamarra Road, Borambola (Jan 27)

Small scale fish kill (estimate 50+) affecting Murray Cod and Golden Perch mainly (as well as lots of Carp), but Murray Crayfish also identified (no images).

Likely cause poor water quality caused by localised runoff over bushfire affected parts of the catchment.

Buckinbah Creek, at Yullundry (Jan 25)

Hundreds of fish reported dead after a rainfall event. Species affected included Murray Cod, Golden Perch and Common Carp.

Cause is episodic rainfall events that caused short and sharp flow in the river. This caused a rapid reduction in dissolved oxygen levels due to organic material runoff.

Macquarie River, Raby to Kiameron Bridge (Jan 23)

Report of thousands of dead fish affecting multiple species including Murray Cod, Golden Perch, Silver Perch, Bony Bream, Common Carp and Shrimp.

Flow had ceased in the Macquarie River in September 2019. A rainfall in the upstream sub-catchments of Bell & Little Rivers had resulted in an unregulated flow reaching Warren. The flow hitting the dry river bed mobilised thick plumes of silt and picking up significant volumes of organic debris in the river bed. This caused a rapid reduction in dissolved oxygen levels due to organic material runoff.

Murray River, from Jingellic to Talmalmo Travelling Stock Reserve (Jan 22)

Report of a fish death affecting approximately 200 fish, mostly Carp and Redfin with some Murray Cod, Golden Perch and Black Fish.

Likely cause is a rainfall event that has caused short and sharp flow in the river. This has caused a rapid reduction in dissolved oxygen levels due to organic material runoff including ash and sediment from local bushfires.

Bell and Macquarie Rivers, near Wellington (Jan 21)

Estimated that thousands of fish in varying sizes ranges have been impacted. Species affected included Murray Cod, Golden Perch and Freshwater Catfish, as well as Carp and Shrimp.

Likely cause is episodic rainfall events that caused short and sharp flow in the river. This caused a rapid reduction in dissolved oxygen levels due to organic material runoff.

Murray River, Mannus Creek (Jan 21)

Reports of 10-100 dead fish including Murray Cod and Carp.

Likely cause is a rainfall event that has caused short and sharp flow in the river. This has caused a rapid reduction in dissolved oxygen levels due to organic material runoff including ash and sediment from local bushfires.

Upper Murray River, Cudgewa Creek and Corryong Creek (Victorian streams that flow into the Murray River) (Jan 20)

Reports of hundreds of dead fish including Murray Cod, Common Carp and Murray Crayfish seen to be leaving the water. Fish noticed to be gasping at the surface.

Likely cause is a rainfall event that has caused short and sharp flow in the river. This has caused a rapid reduction in dissolved oxygen levels due to organic material runoff including ash and sediment.

Macintyre River, Brodies Plains (Jan 20)Reports of 10 large Murray Cod floating in the water sighted from the bank. Most likely cause is recent rainfall washing organic material into the river, resulting in poor water quality and very low oxygen levels.
Clarence River, Baryulgil (Yulgilbar Station) (19 Jan)

Report of 10-100 dead fish including Mullet and Australian Bass.

Most likely cause is recent rainfall washing organic material into the river, resulting in poor water quality and very low oxygen levels.

Darling River, Ellerslie near Wentworth (Jan 19)

Report of six dead Murray Cod near Wentworth.

Likely cause is low dissolved oxygen within an isolated pool receiving minimal inflows due to drought conditions.

Macquarie River, 32km reach to Dubbo (Jan 17)

Estimated that thousands of fish in varying sizes ranges have been impacted. Species affected included Murray Cod, Golden Perch and Freshwater Catfish as well as Carp and Shrimp.

Likely cause is a rainfall event that has caused short and sharp flow in the river. This has caused a rapid reduction in dissolved oxygen levels due to organic material runoff.

Impacts are still being seen as the flow moves downstream below Warren Weir. Flow had ceased due to operational aspects to conserve critical human needs, and as the water has flowed over the dry river bed small scale fish kills are being observed as a result of poor water quality.

Turon River, Macquarie-Castlereigh catchment (Jan 16)Report of thousands of dead fish including Murray Cod, Golden Perch and Carp.

Likely cause if a rainfall event that has caused short and sharp flow in the river. This has caused a rapid reduction in dissolved oxygen levels due to organic material runoff.
Wallangra Creek, near Glen Innes (10 Jan)Reports of dead Murray Cod and Eel-tailed Catfish.

Likely cause being low dissolved oxygen within an isolated pool receiving minimal inflows.
Junction of Severn River and Tenterfield Creek, near Tenterfield (9 Jan)Reports of dead fish following an isolated storm event. Species affected include Eel-tailed Catfish, Carp and Murray Cod.

Likely cause is a drop in dissolved oxygen following the isolated storm event washing organic matter into the river system.
Macintyre River, Elsmore Commons (9 Jan)Report of 10-20 dead Murray Cod downstream of Stannifer Road.

Suspected cause is poor quality resulting from recent rain increasing flow in the river and washing organic matter and sediment into the system, affecting dissolved oxygen.
Macintyre River, Dintonvale Road Crossing, Bukkulla (9 Jan)Up to one hundred dead fish reported including Murray Cod, Golden Perch, Freshwater Catfish, Bony Herring as well as Carp (introduced species).

Suspected cause is poor water quality resulting from recent rain increasing flow in the river and washing organic matter and sediment into the system, affecting dissolved oxygen.
Peel River, Tamworth (5 Jan)Approximately 50 dead fish including Murray Cod, Eel-tailed Catfish and Golden Perch.

Flow ceased in the Peel River downstream of Dungowan Weir. There was a large rain event in early January that has since washed debris and organic matter into the river, affecting water quality and dissolved oxygen levels for native fish resulting in this fish kill.
McDonald River, (Alberbaldie Road), (2 Jan)Reports of dead Trout int he upper headwaters of the McDonald River towards Niangla.

The cause of the kill is under investigation. 

Coastal catchments in NSW

Hyde Creek, Bellinger Creek  (Jan 29)

Limited knowledge of a fish kill event with exact numbers unconfirmed.

Small fish kill affected four fish including Bass and Mullet.

Recent rainfall washed organic material into the river, resulting in poor water quality and very low oxygen levels for native fish.

Sportsmans Creek, Clarence River (Jan 27)

Report of hundreds of dead fish including Mullet, Perch, Freshwater Turtles and Herring.

A rainfall event has caused short and sharp flow in the river. This has caused a rapid reduction in dissolved oxygen levels due to organic material runoff including ash and sediment from local bushfires.

Creek, South Diamond Beach (27 Jan)

Report of 10-100 dead fish affecting mainly Sea Mullet.

Cause was low dissolved oxygen within an isolated pool receiving minimal inflows.

Botany Bay, Sir Joseph Banks Park (Jan 27)

Approximately 50-100 European Carp affected.

Suspected cause is a blue/green algal bloom amidst low inflows and low dissolved oxygen levels.

Oyster Creek, Nambucca LGA (Jan 24)

Reported fish kill affecting 10-100 Eels.

Recent rainfall washed organic material into the river, resulting in poor water quality and very low oxygen levels for native fish.

Lake Cathie, Bonnie Hills (Jan 22)

Report of approximately a hundred dead Whiting and Bream confined to a 75m area.

Likely caused by low oxygen and water levels and high salinity.

Deua River, upstream of Moruya (Jan 22)

Approximately 20 dead Australian Bass and one Long Finned-Eel noted.

A rainfall event has caused short and sharp flow in the river. This has caused a rapid reduction in dissolved oxygen levels due to organic material runoff including ash and sediment from local bushfires.  This is an active fireground and Fisheries staff have been unable to gain access to the area and will be monitoring the area as access becomes available.

Richmond River (above weir in Casino) (Jan 21)

Report of tens of thousands dead fish, predominantly Mullet, Bass, Catfish, Bullrout, Shrimp and Crayfish.

Likely cause being low dissolved oxygen within an isolated pool receiving minimal inflows.

Tweed River Estuary, Murwillumbah to Condong (Jan 20)

Report of a fish kill affecting several hundred fish including Mullet, Bream, Luderick, Herring, Garfish, Flathead and Prawns.

Likely cause being low dissolved oxygen within an isolated pool receiving minimal inflows.

Lake Burragorang, Cox’s River Arm (Jan 20)

Limited information about a fish kill event affecting Carp.

The cause of the event is unknown.

George River, Moorebank & Liverpool (19 Jan)

Reports of hundreds of dead fish including Carp, Bass and Catfish.

Ongoing currently being investigated by EPA.

Clarence River, Tabulum (Jan 17)Reports of 20 dead Bass - likely cause being low dissolved oxygen within an isolated pool receiving minimal inflows.
Clarence River, Paddys Flat (Clarence Wilderness Lodge) (Jan 14)

Report of approximately 25 fish affected including Eastern Freshwater Cod, Freshwater Mullet, Bass and an Eel.

Most likely cause is recent rainfall washing organic material into the river, resulting in poor water quality and very low oxygen levels.

Oxley River, Tweed River (15 Jan)

Reports of 10-100 dead fish including Freshwater Mullet, Australian Bass and Bullrout.

Most likely cause is recent rainfall washing organic material into the river, resulting in poor water quality and very low oxygen levels.

Wallamba River, upstream of weir on Dargavilles Road (13 Jan)Approximately 8 dead fish reported. Cause of this fish kill is still being investigated.
Pine Creek, Bonville (12 Jan)

Approximately 15 Mullet and many smaller Mullet observed gasping for air.

Likely cause being low dissolved oxygen within an isolated pool receiving minimal inflows due to drought conditions.

Macleay River, upstream and downstream of Bellbrook Bridge (10 Jan - ongoing)Reports of hundreds of thousands of dead fish including Mullet, Catfish, Herring, Bull Trout, Australian Bass and Eels.

Likely cause is isolated large rain events moving mud and ash from bushfires through the river system, resulting in a drop in dissolved oxygen levels for native fish.
Manning and Barnard Rivers, Between Burrell Creek to Bretti (9 Jan)Reports of 100s of dead fish including Bull Trout, Australian Bass, Herring, Mullet and Catfish.

Likely cause being low dissolved oxygen within an isolated pool receiving minimal inflows due to drought conditions.
Poverty Creek, Clarence River (9 Jan)Approximately 10 Mullet affected along with other small fish observed gasping at the surface.

Likely cause being low dissolved oxygen within an isolated pool receiving minimal inflows due to drought conditions.
Minnamurra River, Jamberoo, (3 Jan)Reports of 10-100 dead fish at the Factory Lane Bridge over Minnamurra River. Also reports of fish in distress upstream in the system.

Species affected were largely Australian Bass. Likely cause being low dissolved oxygen within an isolated pool receiving minimal inflows due to drought conditions.
Limeburners Creek, Hastings River at Port Macquarie, (2 Jan)Reports of thousands of dead fish. Exact numbers are unknown with species affected including Mullet, Bream, Herring and Whiting.

Likely cause being low dissolved oxygen within an isolated pool receiving minimal inflows due to drought conditions.
Tilba Lake, Batemans Marine Park (1 Jan)Reports of hundred of dead fish specifically Bream, Flathead, Mullet, Eels and Blue swimmer crabs.

Likely cause being low dissolved oxygen within an isolated pool receiving minimal inflows due to drought conditions. Soot was also observed at the water's edge from recent bushfire activity in the area.