Community update on response to fish deaths in Menindee and Lower Darling-Baaka

Community update from the NSW Government Department of Planning and Environment:

Increased flows commencing today to support fish and river health
Please be advised that water quality conditions are deteriorating in the Darling-Baaka River at, and below, Menindee due to high temperatures, and persistent stratification* which could lead to hypoxic conditions when the water mixes. Coupled with increasing volumes of algae which deplete oxygen levels at night, we anticipate that oxygen in the water could reduce rapidly which could lead to fish deaths.

To combat this, we are commencing a pulse of water starting at 600M/L a day from today. This will increase to 1000 M/L a day on Saturday and Sunday after which we will gradually reduce the flows back to 550M/L a day to maintain river and fish health. Any flows above 550ML/day will be accounted against the water quality allowance. This water is being taken from Lake Pamamaroo. The temporary sensor installed downstream of Lake Wetherell Main Weir is showing the water being released from Lake Pamamaroo is well oxygenated and in the safe range for fish health.

We apologise for the short notice, but water quality conditions are dynamic and we need to act rapidly to prevent the risk of fish deaths. We are monitoring conditions in the river regularly.

*(Stratification means that the top layer of water tends to be warm and well-oxygenated compared to the deeper water that is colder and has less oxygen. The longer stratification goes on, the more chance there is that the oxygen in the bottom level is depleted. When the top and bottom water mixes (destratification), the result is water that is low in oxygen).

View the full Community update from the NSW Government Department of Planning and Environment below: