Fish kill.
Fish kill.

Management of creek 'very complicated' after fish kill

INVESTIGATIONS are continuing into the recent fish kill at Tallow Creek, which saw thousands of fish die after the mouth of the creek was mechanically opened.

Council staff in consultation with NSW Government agencies including NPWS, NSW DPI Fisheries and the Marine Park Authority are continuing to investigate to improve entrance opening protocols to try to minimise the chances of it happening again.

Tallow Creek is one of 70 estuaries in NSW that are known as Intermittently Closed and Open Lakes and Lagoons or ICOLLs.

Chloe Dowsett, Council's Coastal Biodiversity Coordinator, said no one wants to see a repeat of the fish kill that happened in June, and while Council and agencies improve protocols relating to the future opening of Tallow Creek, the community should be aware that the mouth of the creek has closed.

"This means that water levels behind the sandbank at the creek mouth are starting to rise, and are currently sitting at two metres,” Ms Dowsett said.

"At the meeting on June 27 2019 Council resolved that its preference is that no further openings of the Tallow Creek ICOLL be undertaken unless there is agreement of Arakwal Corporation, NPWS, and Cape Byron Marine Park, and that there is a low probability of a fish kill at the proposed opening time.

"This means that as the water rises some properties will be affected by flooding and the public walkway to the beach will not be accessible,” Ms Dowsett said.

"Naturally this has an impact on people's ability to enjoy their yards, but there are also environmental considerations that need to be taken into account, with the avoidance of a fish kill being the primary consideration,” she said.

She said it was a "very complicated” situation and council and NSW Government agencies were exploring strategies to improve the future management of the creek.



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