CAIRNS, New Zealand: Authorities and scientists in southeast Australia have blamed recent floods and hot weather for the deaths of millions of fish.


Fish deaths, according to the New South Wales Department of Primary Industries, coincided with a heat wave that added strain to a system already under duress from widespread flooding.

The department concluded that low oxygen levels caused the deaths as floodwaters receded, with the increased oxygen demand of fish due to the warmer temperatures only exacerbating the problem.

The dead fish reportedly caused a terrible stench in Menindee, an Outback town.

We had just begun to clean up when this happened, and now it smells terrible and the ground is covered in dried blood and gore. Another local, Jan Dening, agreed that the sight and smell of so many dead fish was revolting.
On Thursday night, nature photographer Geoff Looney discovered large schools of dead fish near Menindee’s main weir.

There was a terrible odor. I almost needed to wear a mask,” Looney admitted. I was concerned about my own health. That water up there at the top flows down to our municipal pumping station. The locals upstream of Menindee claim to have seen cod and perch swimming freely in the river.
Recent weeks have reportedly seen a rise in the number of deaths along the Darling-Baaka River. At the same location, tens of thousands of fish were discovered in late February, and several reports of dead fish have been made downstream toward Pooncarie, close to the border between South Australia and Victoria.

Locals in Menindee, Australia, estimate that millions of fish died in the river in late 2018 and early 2019 due to the extreme drought.