100 salmon died within 15 minutes of putting them in the Opawa River, Blenheim New Zealand.
And nobody knows why!
A run of salmon died just minutes after being released into the Opawa River, New Zealand for the Marlborough Kids Fish Out, which was supposed to take place on Sunday.
Field officer Vaughan Lynn said he was shocked to find the salmon dead on Friday and explains: “We put the fish in, but we noticed they looked a bit stressed, well, more stressed than they usually do when you’re releasing them. Then we glanced upstream, and we saw these dead fish bodies floating around, and there was an eel looking a bit sick, and I thought, ‘oh, we’ve got a problem’.”
Officials, baffled, are now testing the water. But they have no clues!
The water has 15 per cent dissolved oxygen and this is really low! Anything below 80 per cent stresses the fish. So this is well down at 15 per cent. The further upstream you go, the higher are the levels. So there is something in that particular area.
Other fish such as eel, whitebait and bullies were found dead.
So what could it be?
Something has gone in there and sucked the oxygen out of the water. But what and when and how, we don’t know.
Yes, nobody knows. It could have been caused by a runoff, discharge or leak, probably due to earthquake damage followed by flooding.
And what about dissolved gases in the river floor which have become exposed by new cracks in the rock, and are now venting to the surface? What the earthquake may have done, is it’s opened up a few new fissures and fractures in the river bed and liberated the water and the gas in the water. This is exactly what is going on off Kaikura right now! Just look by yourself:
So what is the reason behind this sudden salmon mass die-off?