Dolphins avoid Cudgen Creek death

A LARGE fish kill has occurred in Cudgen Creek on the Tweed only a week after dolphins were removed from the same area.

More than 80 fish were reported killed in Cudgen Creek, according to a report received by the New South Wales National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) on February 9.

A member of the public reported dead prawns, flathead, catfish, eels and young bream in the water near the Tweed Coast Road bridge.

Mature luderick were also struggling in the shallows, along with baby garfish and mullet, which usually survive freshwater surges.

It was estimated that in a 10-metre space there were 10 flathead, 70 garfish and a large number of prawns all dead in the water.

The fish kill has backed up a controversial decision by the NPWS to remove dolphins from the creek on February 2.

NPWS Tweed area manager Nathan Oliver said potential heavy rain was behind the decision to move the marine mammals from Cudgen Creek.

The flood of freshwater would have affected their skin and eyes, along with decreasing the amount of food available in the creek, he said.

There was also potential for acid sulphate to wash into the creek and affect acidity levels.

“These were concerns we needed to act on, as recent previous experience with dolphins in similar circumstances had not ended well,” he said.



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