Friday, October 18th 2019, 2:36 pm - Drone footage taken by filmmaker Rory McLeod on October 15 shows as many as 5,000 fish strewn across the length of the parched body of water.
Thousands of dead fish lined the banks of Australia's Lake Pamamaroo in remote western New South Wales with waterways running dry due to widespread drought.
Drone footage taken by filmmaker Rory McLeod on October 15 shows as many as 5,000 fish strewn across the length of the parched body of water.
The majority of the fish were believed to be European carp, an invasive species, rather than the endangered native Murray cod.
“What we found is mainly – I’d say more than 90 per cent – European carp and much less than 1 per cent are cod," anthropologist Peter Yates told The Guardian.
“In a sense this is a cull of the carp, but there are some pretty big cod too.”
In a statement, the NSW Department of Primary Industries said the aerial footage was consistent with satellite images that showed the lake was “almost completely dry”.
The agency said fish kills in the Menindee lakes were usually dominated by the carp as they lacked the evolutionary response of native species to seek deep channels in drought conditions.
David Littleproud, Australia's drought minister, recently announced a fish management and recovery strategy.
“Make no mistake, we are likely to see fish deaths this summer. We’re facing another hot summer with very little water flowing through our rivers,” he told reporters.
“Fish deaths are common during summer but what we saw last year were a major wake-up call about the impact of the drought on our rivers.”
The plan will allow available environmental water to be used to mitigate fish deaths, support recovery responses, and keep a fish death database.