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Residents complain of ‘putrid odour’ as millions of dead fish wash up in an Australian town

Millions of dead fish washed up in a river in a southeastern Australian city as a result of a heat wave, local authorities said.

The deaths were reported in the Lower Darling-Baaka River near the town of Menindee in a remote part of New South Wales.

A heat wave in the western part of the state “continues to put further pressure on a system that has experienced extreme conditions due to large-scale flooding,” the state Department of Primary Industries said in a statement Friday. The “developing large-scale fish kill event” is related to low oxygen levels, or hypoxia, in the water as floodwaters recede.

“The current hot weather in the region is also exacerbating hypoxia, as warmer water contains less oxygen than cold water and fish have higher oxygen needs at warmer temperatures,” the department said.

Similar incidents have been reported in the Darling-Baaka River in recent weeks. Last month, tens of thousands of dead fish were found in the same spot.

This week, Menindee residents complained about the horrible smell of dead fish.

“We just started cleaning up (since the last incident), and then this happened,” said local resident Jan Dening. “You’re walking in a dried-up mess and then you’re smelling this putrid stench. It’s a terrible, horrible smell to see all those dead fish.”

Another resident, Graeme McCrabb, described the incident to the BBC as “surreal.”

“You can imagine leaving a fish in your kitchen to rot with all the doors closed and no air conditioning, and we have millions of them,” he added.

In 2019, another massive fish kill was reported in the same area, when millions of fish were found dead in a 25-mile stretch following a period of severe drought, Sky News Australia reported.

with cable news services

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