FISHERIES officers from the Department of Primary Industries are investigating a fish kill in the northern reaches of Broughton Creek near Berry.
A number of dead fish, in particular large carp, have been found near the Broughton Creek Bridge on Tannery Road just north of the Berry township.
Local cyclists Bev and Ron Lukin of North Nowra came across the scene during their ride on Wednesday morning.
“We noticed last week that there seemed to be a real scum over the creek as we crossed,” Bev said.
“It just looked really oily.”
“This week when we rode over it and looked down there were dead fish everywhere – big fish, really big carp,” Ron said.
A DPI spokesperson said an inspection confirmed a minor fish kill along approximately 400 metres of the creek near the upper current tidal reach in an area which normally had fresh water.
The spokesperson estimated that 250-400 large carp were affected.
“Their state of decomposition indicated that they had been dead for two to three days,” the spokesperson said.
“There was no evidence during the inspection that any other species was involved.”
Tests undertaken by DPI and a Shoalhaven City Council environmental officer showed current temperature, pH, salinity and dissolved oxygen levels to be normal.
Water samples were also taken for laboratory testing.
The spokesperson said the most likely cause of the fish kill at the moment appears to be higher water temperature last week at the time of the heatwave, combined with low dissolved oxygen levels caused by tidal saltwater entering the affected area.