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The Occurrence of Fish Kills, and their Causes missing in the Darwin-Katherine-Jabiru Region of the NT



The Occurrence of Fish Kills, and their Causes missing in the Darwin-Katherine-Jabiru Region of the NT


Townsend, S.


E-Publications; E-Books; PublicationNT; Report ; 36/1992




Made available via the Publications (Legal Deposit) Act 2004 (NT).





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Power and Water Authority

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Report ; 36/1992

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Technical Report WRD92036 Viewed at 15:07:57 on 29/07/2010 Page 31 of 54. 4 Introduction The term fish kill refers to the catastrophic death of numerous, sometimes thousands, of fish from natural or anthropogenic causes. Those unrelated to human activity are termed 'natural' in this paper. Natural fish kills in the tropics are commonly attributed to low dissolved oxygen concentrations, but the limnological and hydrological factors associated with the events vary. Fish kills in deep African lakes have been attributed to the up,lelling of anoxic hypolimnion waters and associated lethal concentrations of hydrogen sulphide (Beadle 1974; Payne 1986). The deoxygenation of sha11ol' Lake Chi1wa, Malawi, and consequent deaths of large numbers of Ti1apia, was caused by the resuspension of high oxygen demand lake sediments (Morgan 1972). In floodplain 1entic waterbodies, oxygen depletion and subsequent fish deaths have been caused by the breakdown of stratification by wind and inflow (Welcomme 1979). Fish kills commonly occur in the Darwin-Katherine-Jabiru region of northern Australia (Fig. 1). They have been documented by the Alligator Rivers Region Research Institute (ARRRI) , Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), Northern Territory Power and Water Authority (PAW".) and Northern Territory Department of Prirrary Industry and Fisheries (DPIF). This review is based on fish kill accounts of the above organisations and published

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