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Government carp strategy is all wrong

Barwon-Darling Water spokesman Ian Cole checking out the water quality. Photo TWH

Spokesman for Barwon-Darling Water, Ian Cole, said that communities along the river would welcome further investigations of the mass fish death at Menindee, but asked why the government was focussed only on Menindee.

“The science is pointing to a natural black water event, similar to many events in the past and similar to those all up and down the river,” Mr Cole said.

“The Menindee community seem to be the squeaky wheel getting all the attention at the moment, but I wonder if the state government understands that fish deaths occurred all along the Darling River as the recent flood receded,” he said.

“Besides fish deaths at Bourke, we had thousands of yabbies walking out of the Darling looking for oxygenated water back in January and February”.

Mr Cole also asked why the government was using limited commercial fishing crews to take fish out of one part of the river.

“Aside from a few weirs the river is completely connected from Mungindi to Menindee at the moment and we know that carp breed like rabbits and know how to migrate up and down the river,” he said.

“Surely all levels of government must seek to protect our native fish by introducing the carp virus.

“The virus is available and has been exhaustively tested for Australian conditions and has been known to wipe out whole carp populations in other parts of the world.

“Together with introducing fish ladders on weirs and restoring native fish habitat, the carp virus would be a more effective solution to the problem of carp in our

waterways – there is no other solution,” Mr Cole said.


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