Thousands of Lowood catfish die
DEAD and bloated catfish are washing up on the banks of the Brisbane River in their thousands, leaving scientists searching for an explanation.
SeqWater officers were seen scouring the banks of the river just outside the centre of Lowood yesterday, where scaly bodies were scattered along rocky sections of the bank or bobbing belly-up in the steady current.
It is believed hundreds of fish were found dead last week and more were counted yesterday - totalling in the thousands.
The dead fish were found as far upstream as the Lockyer Creek.
Only catfish seem to have been affected, leading to speculation that a virus may be sweeping through fish populations in the river.
Department of Environment and Heritage Protection executive director Andrew Connor said there would be no explanation for the fish kill until water and fish samples could be properly analysed.
"EHP officers will collect water and fish samples for laboratory analysis," Mr Connor said yesterday.
"The only species reported to be affected are catfish, with the majority of the dead fish located around Lowood with small numbers being found further upstream as far as Lockyer Creek."
There have been no reported fish deaths in other parts of the Brisbane River.
Somerset Mayor Graeme Lehmann yesterday said he was unaware of the fish kill and was trying to make contact with the local fish stocking association.
Cr Lehmann said the Brisbane River played host to a fishing competition last weekend which went by without reports of dead fish.