Serpentine River.

Department of Water investigates reports of dead fish and crabs in Peel region waterways

The Department of Water is investigating multiple reports of small numbers of dead fish and crabs found in waterways across the Peel region.

A range of species including bream, mullet, yellowtails, cobbler, blowfish and crabs have been found dead in the Peel-Harvey estuary and lower Murray and lower Serpentine rivers in Furnissdale, Ravenswood and Erskine.

“These incidents are likely related to recent rainfall causing sizable unseasonal flows in the river and estuary system, and officers have reported water discolouration associated with organic matter washed into the system from the catchment,” Department of Water Peel Region Manager Leon Brouwer said.

“It is possible that the initial flows carried sufficient organic matter to cause a low dissolved oxygen event which may have killed fish, which have then been dispersed by high flows.”

The Department of Water will continue to monitor the area and are urging people to report any fish deaths to the Department of Fisheries Fishwatch on 1800 815 507.

Residents are advised not to eat or handle dead fish found in the waterways.

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