Season still taking its toll on fish

Bony bream kill at Bourke


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Hundreds of bony bream have been found dead in a weir pool upstream from Bourke. Photo by NSWDPI.

Hundreds of bony bream have been found dead in a weir pool upstream from Bourke. Photo by NSWDPI.

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Hundreds of bony bream have been found dead in a weir pool upstream from Bourke.

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As the drought continues, the change in season is taking its toll on fish in our water systems - this time bony bream are the latest casualty.

A 10 degree temperature drop and rainfall of 40 millimetres in the region has been blamed for hundreds of bony bream found dead in a weir pool upstream from Bourke on the Darling River.

NSW Department of Primary Industries (NSWDPI) fisheries were notified by Bourke Shire Council of the small fish kill. Some bony bream are still showing signs of stress but no other species were observed.

Bony bream are a widespread and common, small to medium-sized Australian freshwater fish often found in large shoals throughout much of northern and central Australia, and the Murray-Darling basin.

They are susceptible to fish kill events due to their inability to survive sudden temperature drops, which may occur at various times during the year.

Bourke Shire Council is liaising with NSWDPI Fisheries and the EPA on the clean up of the dead fish, which are located near a boat ramp.

According to frequently asked questions on the NSWDPI website about fish kills, a review of state-wide data between 1980 and 2010 showed that there was an average of 40 fish kills reported to DPI each year.

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