FISH KILLS REPORTED – A LONG-TERM SOLUTION REQUIRED

Bargara Lakes Fish Kill

Whilst the recent tidal flushing events should alleviate the problem of fish kills in the upper Money’s Creek Lagoon, it’s a different case at Bargara Lakes which is bounded by Bargara Lakes Estate, Carlyle Gardens and the Bargara Lakes Tavern.

Yesterday Council staff were called to the lake to remove a number of dead fish and this morning I’ve received a further report regarding the same – this time about 20 of them. Staff are currently on the way to remove them.

Even though we didn’t get much rain last night, I’m hopeful that it was enough to replenish at least some of the oxygen in the water. In the interim period, I’ve asked that Council staff monitor the situation and remove any dead fish as deemed appropriate.

A Long-Term Solution Required

The issue of fish kills and weed infestations in waterways across the region has been (and will continue to be) an ongoing issue during the warmer months with little rainfall. The flooding events of the past two years may have negated the issue but historically there have been some unpleasant incidents which (apart from weather impacts) are almost predictable.

The main causes are:

  1. low water levels caused by a lack of rainfall and historic silting up the bottom which naturally reduces the volume of water
  2. high water temeratures which are relevant to the ambient weather conditions and the reduced volume of water to disperse the heat
  3. changes in nutrient levels

There’s little doubt that these incidents will continue and possibly intensify unless effective remedial action is taken and scheduled for the future. I’m certainly no expert on the subject but it would appear to me that the dredging of the affected waterways would be the most effective solution however I’m mindful that this would come at a significant cost. At the same time though, there is already significant cost incurred in continual bandaid measures which are usually a reactive action rather than a scheduled preventative action.

Because it’s likely to be a never-ending issue, I would dearly love to the Council to consider investing in a multi-purpose machine which is easily transportable ansd which could not only be used across our region, but possibly hired out to other regions when not in use to recoup some expenses. These machines come in a variety of sizes and capabilities and here’s a link to a video of just one of them…. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UZs9TM8OXz0.

As I understand it, a significant cost is involved in removing/treating dredged spoil which may contain some enviromental nasties such as acid sulphates, heavy metals, etc. I would like Council to explore the possibility of retaining some spoil within the confines of various waterways by using it to create sanctuary islands for birdlife. I might be right off-track, but it seems like a possible solution.

I’ve had previous discussions with Cr. Rowleson (Natural Resourses Portfolio), other Councillors and relevant officers, however I’ll raise these issue again early in the new year as part of our budget deliberations.

 

 

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