YUNDERUP residents were devastated to wake up to masses of dead fish on the banks of the canals this morning.
Long time North Yunderup resident Bernie Lydiate was especially disappointed to see the dead fish as he’s formed a special relationship with them over the years.
“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 at the Murray River.
However, Mr Lydiate and his neighbour Marg McBride said the kill runs for kilometres down the banks of the river. They estimated thousands of fish had died.
“They’re all dead,” Ms McBride said.
“There’s also some slime on the water.”
The majority of dead fish appear to be black bream, with some whiting and mullet.
Mr Lydiate moved to the area in 1985 and said this is the second fish kill he has 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.
“I’ve been watching the pelicans, they’re so ravenous usually, but they won’t come near (the fish),” Mr Lydiate said.
He said another neighbour found a large dead water rat and some dead crabs.
Mr Pond said the department is investigating the incident with the Department of Fisheries providing support.
“It is too early in the investigation to assume causes yet,” he said.
The Times last reported on a massive fish kill in Yunderup in 2013.
Hundreds of fish washed up on the shores of the lake at Wellya Crescent.