Council responds to smaller fish kill

Date published: 11 March 2016

Townsville City Council is responding to another, much smaller, fish kill in Ross River following further heavy rain and run off this week.

Council environmental staff have found depleted dissolved oxygen levels in the river along the stretch from the Nathan St bridge and Aplins Weir, the area where a fish kill occurred last weekend.

Workers are installing aerators today in an effort to create oxygenated pockets in the river to assist the fish.

Interim results of tests indicate the cause of the fish kill over the weekend was due to low levels of dissolved oxygen in the water, which can be caused by stormwater run-off flushing nutrients and organic matter into the waterway – a common cause of fish kills in the tropics.

Acting executive manager of council’s Integrated Sustainable Services department Chris Manning said the council would continue to monitor the river and collect any dead fish.

“Aerators are being set up today to try and assist the fish by creating small areas of oxygenated water where they can seek refuge,” Mr Manning said.

“The council has had staff on the river all week cleaning-up and monitoring the water quality, and the operation will continue over the weekend.”

Mr Manning said the council had advised the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection (DEHP) and they would also be conducting an investigation.