Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Mysterious fish deaths

Shepparton's Reedy Swamp has become a fish graveyard, with more than 200 rotting carp littering the area's shore.

DARREN LINTON December 21, 2012 4:50am

Bodies of dead carp along the shore of Shepparton’s Reedy Swamp.

Reedy Swamp on Shepparton’s northern edge is still a beautiful place to visit, but the smell of rotting fish is overwhelming.

More than 200 dead carp line the eastern shore slowly rotting under the hot summer sun.

It’s most likely the carp have become stranded in the shallows as the water level of the swamp dropped during recent weeks.

But a spokesperson for the Department of Primary Industries yesterday directed The News to the Environment Protection Authority, which was investigating.

However, a check with the authority revealed there had not been a report received and therefore there was no active investigation.

A spokesperson for the Department of Sustainability and Environment said carp, an introduced pest, were not quite as smart as native species, which reacted in time to retreat with the water.

No native fish were spotted along the 250m of shoreline The News visited yesterday.

Eventually, Parks Victoria confirmed it had documented the deaths and was in the process of lodging an official report with the authority.

This will lead to an investigation, although it appears the fish have died from a natural phenomenon.

An authority report on fish deaths from 1998 to 2007 noted carp were the most commonly reported species, most deaths occurred in summer and autumn and the events were generally unavoidable.

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