YUNDERUP residents were devastated to wake up to masses of dead fish on the banks of the canals last Monday.
Long time North Yunderup resident Bernie Lydiate was especially disappointed.
“I was feeding them last night and now they’re dead,” he said.
Department of Water acting regional manager Bob Pond confirmed a fish kill of hundreds in the Murray River.
But Mr Lydiate and his neighbour Marg McBride said the kill ran for kilometres down the banks of the river.
They estimated thousands of fish had died.
Most of the dead fish appeared to be black bream, with some whiting and mullet.
Mr Lydiate moved to the area in 1985 and said this was the second fish kill he had seen.
“We had a small fish kill a few months ago, after the last big rain, which flushed the mud through,” he said.
“I don’t catch them, I feed them; they’re a beautiful fish and they trust you.
“They come to me and I buy special food for them. I’ve been doing that for years.”
Mr Lydiate described the river as previously healthy.
As Mr Lydiate and Ms McBride spoke to the Times a pod of dolphins made their way down the river.
The pair were concerned about the remaining wildlife in the river.
“I’ve been watching the pelicans; they’re so ravenous usually, but they won’t come near the fish,” Mr Lydiate said.
Mr Pond said the department was investigating the incident with the Department of Fisheries providing support.
“It is too early in the investigation to assume causes yet,” he said.