Millions of dead fish rot in warm river

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A heat wave is straining an already strained water flow in the flood-hit region, according to authorities. They assess that the mass death of fish – a recurring phenomenon in the river – is due to low oxygen levels in the water when the water level has dropped, while the fish’s need for oxygen rises in the heat.

Film clips show boats gliding across a surface of water covered in dead fish.

— We have just started to clean up little by little and this is how this happens. It’s like walking around in a dried mess and then you feel the rotten stench. It’s a terrible smell and horrible to see all the dead fish, Jan Dening, a resident of Menindee, told AP.

Tens of thousands of dead fish were found in the same part of the river in February. Also in late 2018 and early 2019, there was a mass kill at Menindee where millions of fish were estimated to die.