Source of fish kill confirmed
Released 15 Apr 2009
The Department of Water has confirmed that the deaths of about 20 sea mullet were caused by low water oxygen levels.
The department's Acting Regional Manager Mr Chris Gunby, said the fish kill provided a timely reminder of the need for Albany residents to realise that their actions may impact upon the environment.
"For example, a decision to wash your car on the street and allow the detergents to enter the drains is not going to help the fish in the local wetland," Mr Gunby said.
"This latest fish kill occurred as a result of a toxic algal bloom in the wetland in late February.
"When the algal bloom died and decomposed, the available oxygen in the water was consumed and as oxygen levels dropped, the fish died."
Mr Gunby said algal blooms in the wetlands were not common and were suspected to be caused by high nutrient levels in groundwater and stormwater from the surrounding urban area.
He said nutrient sources in urban areas can include garden fertilisers, septic tanks and commercial and industrial land uses. Rainfall can wash the nutrients and other matter into wetlands where they affected water quality.
Mr Gunby warned that algal blooms not only affected wildlife, but could cause skin irritations to humans and domestic pets.
The actions of a local resident who reported both the algal bloom and the dead fish were supported by the department.
"We welcome community feedback on algal blooms, fish kills and any inappropriate activities that may be occurring on or near to our waterways," Mr Gunby said.
"Thanks to this resident, we were able to investigate the fish kill in a timely manner and found its cause. It allowed us to report back to the community and increase our understanding of local waterways".
Contact: Dianne Dixon
Phone: (08) 6364 6983 / 0419 910 847