A RESIDENT has concerns for the waterways in Yunderup after she discovered a number of dead fish in the estuary.
South Yunderup resident Sara Marie Klute-Nesteriak found the dead bait fish near Cooper’s Mill on Saturday.
The Department of Water said they have not received any reports of major fish deaths in this area.
Director of regional delivery and regulation Paul Brown said incidents are not unexpected in inland waterways, in this part of the State, at this time of year.
“The combination of hot weather and local water quality issues can cause fish deaths in the Peel-Harvey Estuary,” he said.
“Low winter rainfall (in 2015) and subsequent reduced flows in the Murray and Serpentine rivers has increased the potential for algal blooms and fish deaths.
“A common cause of fish deaths at this time of year is from a lack of oxygen in the water column caused by stagnant water and bacterial activity associated with breakdown of organic materials, including algal blooms.”
Ms Klute-Nesteriak said she has lived in South Yunderup all her life and had never seen the water this low before.
However, the Department would have to conduct full fish pathology and water quality testing to determine what caused the death of the fish.
“Contact with dead fish should be avoided and the Department of Health advises against eating or handling of fish found in these or similar circumstances,” Mr Brown said.
“If there are no warning signs and you come across a large number of dead fish or a serious algal bloom in our estuarine systems, we ask the public to contact the Department of Water or the Department of Fisheries.”
People are asked to report any fish deaths to the Department of Fisheries FishWatch on 1800 815 507.
Algal blooms should be reported to ALGALWATCH 08 6250 8064 (office hours).