Chris Andrews with dead eels found in the small waterway off Nugget Cl in Coffs Harbour.
Chris Andrews with dead eels found in the small waterway off Nugget Cl in Coffs Harbour.

Fish, eel deaths a local mystery

THE alarming discovery of dead eels, fish and worms in a stormwater drain off Nugget Close, Coffs Harbour, is no cause for concern said a Coffs Harbour City Council spokeswoman.

The council investigated the site yesterday afternoon having been alerted by the Advocate, who were led there earlier in the day by resident Chris Andrews.

Mr Andrews said his son had arrived home from school on Friday afternoon saying eels in the tiny waterway were behaving strangely.

“I went down and had a look – it was weird, they were rolling, not swimming properly and not hiding as usual,” Mr Andrews said.

“When I went down again on Saturday I saw they were all dead.

“My son walked along the creek and said he saw more dead eels.”

Mr Andrews said while he was not a big fan of eels, he felt sad about the deaths and was concerned about possible effects on other wildlife.

“It seemed to me that someone might have innocently flushed something down the drain and it ended up here. I was worried about other animals that might eat the dead fish.”

The council's spokeswoman said staff had investigated and were satisfied there was no environmental threat.

“Water samples have been taken and while we are satisfied this is not a deliberate fish kill, clearly someone did something that caused this,” she said.

She said there was no risk to Coffs Creek, which was 1.5km away.

A number of possible explanations include someone cleaning out their boat or fish buckets, bleach washed down from a driveway or the eels having died naturally.

The council asked members of the public to alert them as soon as possible in future if they came across a similar situation.



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