The NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) has confirmed about 1000 fish have died in Clybucca Creek, near the Menarcobrinni flood gates.
"It is estimated that around 1000, mostly Garfish, Mullet, Blackfish, Silver Biddy, Flathead, Mud Crab, Bream and Whiting have been impacted," a spokesperson from the department said.
"The suspected cause is related to recent rain events and flooding of coastal floodplains.
"This has contributed to critically low dissolved oxygen in waters being discharged into the tributaries of the Macleay River, following an extended period of drought."
The most recent incident comes after a reported fish death event in Killick Creek near Crescent Head.
"While widespread rain is a welcome relief, DPI Fisheries holds concerns around the potential short-term impact on fish and other aquatic organisms," the spokesperson said.
"The resumption of flow in drying rivers brings with it risks, due to poor water quality from built-up organic matter and sediment, which can have localised impacts on native fish species.
"Despite these short-term risks, the resumption of flow and subsequent replenishment of refuge holes and connectivity along waterways will provide long-term benefits to native fish populations following the current drought period."
DPI Fisheries is working with Kempsey Shire Council and local residents to continue to monitor the situation.
In 2018 it was announced the Clybucca floodplain would be the subject of a $365,000 research and community engagement project, following a successful funding application under the NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) Flagship Fish Habitat Grants Program.
The Macleay Argus asked DPI for an update on the project, however they did not respond.
The NSW Government has made a $10 million commitment to support native fish during the current drought and bushfire season.
Community members are encouraged to report any fish deaths or observations through the Fishers Watch phoneline on 1800 043 536.
For more information on the NSW Government's Native Fish Drought Response, visit www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/nativefish
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