Curiosity killed the barra

SWIMMING too far upstream is thought to have been the cause of death of schools of fish at New Norfolk and Claremont last week. Environment Protection Agency director Alex Schaap said a large number of dead juvenile barracouta had been observed in the River Derwent between the New Norfolk Bridge and the Boyer mill, and in Windermere Bay at Claremont.

Mr Schaap said it was likely the two events were related. “It appears only one species had been affected as there were reports of other fish, such as whitebait and trout, alive in the area” he said. “While testing of samples taken from the earlier event is not yet complete, it is likely that in both incidents the barracouta ventured into the upper reaches of the estuary and became exposed to low salinity water when venturing into the shallows.”

“Barracouta are a marine species and, while juveniles are abundant in estuaries, they are relatively intolerant of low salinity,” Mr Schaap said.

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