Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA) has attended a significant fish death incident in the Mitchell River between Bairnsdale and Paynesville following a report from a member of the community.
The report informed EPA that tens of thousands of very small fish (bait fish) had been found dead in the waterway; but, once onsite, officers said that number had reduced significantly overnight because of a combination of wind, rain and birds eating the fish.
EPA is continuing to investigate the site with its partner agencies and has taken water samples to determine the cause of the incident. Officers reported no obvious pollution source at the site so it is likely the incident happened through natural causes.
The clean-up of the dead fish will continue to occur naturally, however EPA advises the public not to eat dead or dying fish and not to swim in close proximity to the impacted area.