Geoff Rodmann collects water for sampling.
Geoff Rodmann collects water for sampling. NAOMI HOCKINS

Dead fish found in Moneys Creek

ABOUT six tonnes of dead fish were retrieved by Bundaberg Regional Council workers from Moneys Creek between Saturday and yesterday.

Councillor Greg Barnes said fish kill was almost an annual event, and this year it was so high because of an increase in algae.

“It’s a fairly regular thing. Last year was the exception, when high tides coincide with hot weather,” he said.

“This is one of the worst years I’ve seen.”

Fisher Brett Wales watched the final clean-up at the causeway yesterday, and said as far as he could see it was a simple problem with a simple solution.

“The water’s too shallow and it’s too hot,” he said.

“They need to dredge it out for depth of water.”

Moneys Creek Rehabilitation Group chair Mike Rennie was distressed with the tally and the ongoing bad condition of the creek, and agreed water depth and temperature were part of the problem.

“This is probably the worst fish-kill we’ve had,” Mr Rennie said. .

“The fish kill and the algae bloom that preceded it are graphic demonstrations of the progressive decline of the lagoon environment and its associated ecosystem.”

Mr Rennie said the group had already spent more than $120,000 on three scientific studies of the lagoon and its most recent, the Hydrological Study of the Lagoon, reported the waterway’s severe deterioration.

He said the hydrology study found 80 tonnes of additional sediment from the catchment area was deposited in the lagoon each year.

“The depth of lagoon is decreasing each year — that means it heats up more quickly and has higher concentrations and nitrates and phosphates, held in suspension at the lagoon,” he said.

“Combine that with heat and you get more algae.”

Mr Rennie lamented the potential loss if action was not taken on the problem.

“There were signs showing of it now, and the estimated future life is only five or six years,” he said.

“It is all just a matter of time. Meanwhile, it poses a significant health problem to the community and a source of pungent odour.”

Cr Barnes prepared a motion on the situation to be presented to council today.

He said it will request a report be provided to council assessing the structural stability of causeway, the extent and location of any council water sewerage veins within the structure, and safety concerns at the crossing at the southern end of the causeway.

“It seems paramount to me that council needs to be fully aware of the extent and location of any infrastructure within the causeway before it can make a decision on the consultant’s recommendations,” he said.

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