REVEALED: What killed hundreds of fish at Lake Alford
Gympie Regional Council has revealed the combined factors of recent hot weather and low water levels have been the main contributors to a large fish kill at Lake Alford.
Local visitor Rhiannon Carly McNamara made the shocking discovery this week, capturing images showing fish floating in the lake and sharing them on social media.
The council confirmed it had received “multiple calls” on the issue on Wednesday morning, and later estimated that between 300 and 500 Bony bream and Eel-tailed catfish have been found in the water.
The council’s marketing and communications manager Sharna Rowley said recent harsh conditions had been identified as the primary cause of the fish kill.
“Heat combined with low water levels mean there is a reduced amount of oxygen in the water,” Ms Rowley said.
“It has been sometime since Lake Alford and its catchments have received decent rain. Knowing that there are issues arising from the shallowness of this lake, council has been progressively deepening sections of the lake to encourage more volume of water and create refuges for aquatic wildlife.
“Unfortunately this is the result of prolonged periods of dry weather, heat build up and lack of recent water flow.”
Ms Rowley said while the sight of dead wildlife could be “confronting” for the community, it was not an unusual occurrence in conditions such as what the region has faced in recent times.
“Often when the region experiences high temperatures the wildlife in Lake Alford can be affected,” she said.
“Our parks team are working hard to ensure minimal disruption to the public however the recent weather is making this hard. We appreciate the public’s concern for the park and the wildlife in it.
“If you have concerns, don’t hesitate to give us a call on 1300 307 800.
“Council will continue to monitor the situation.”
The latest incident is not the first time fish have been found dead at Lake Alford due to harsh conditions.
Lake Alford’s eastern side was littered with more than two dead dozen fish last January thanks to dwindling water levels at the park.