A LARGE number of fish have died in Korogoro Creek, Hat Head, in recent days because of heavy contamination of the creek with seaweed.
Local Karina Brien told The Macleay Argus she was walking along the edge of the creek when she spotted the dead fish.
“There were dead fish everywhere,” Ms Brien said.
“My sister went for a walk and mentioned there were a lot of dead fish on the bottom of the creek, so we took the canoe out for a paddle to have a look and the creek floor was littered with dead fish.
“It was low tide and there were so many different species of dead fish everywhere. I was fascinated by the variety of fish that exists in the creek, but devastated to see so many of them dead.
“I walked the creek at low tide and collected a group of different dead species of fish.”
Ms Brien said she spoke with a number of locals who believed the fish were suffocated by the large amount of weed blowing in on the north easterlies and the warm temperatures, which took oxygen out of the water.
“I would say 90 per cent of our fish life suffocated and died from the thick cornflake style weed that had been constantly blown in during the week,” Ms Brien said.
The Department of Primary Industries (DPI) confirmed several hundred small fish died in Korogoro Creek on the weekend.
“The fish kill is believ-ed to have occurred due to low dissolved oxygen levels from an influx of oceanic brown cornflake weed,” a DPI spokesperson told The Macleay Argus on Wednsday.
“The influx of weed seems to have stopped but there were still deposits of weed on the creek bed yesterday, which may still pose a risk at low tide levels.
The spokesperson said it was a natural event that occurred from time to time and could not be prevented.