Report of a large fish kill resulting from natural acid water conditions in Australia

Authors

  • T. E. Brown,

    1. Environment Department, Pancontinental Mining Limited, 50 Bridge Street, Sydney 2000, Australia
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    • *

      CSR Limited, Coal Division, 1 O'Connell Street, Sydney 2000, Australia.

  • A. W. Morley,

    1. Environment Department, Pancontinental Mining Limited, 50 Bridge Street, Sydney 2000, Australia
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  • N. T. Sanderson,

    1. Environment Department, Pancontinental Mining Limited, 50 Bridge Street, Sydney 2000, Australia
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  • R. D. Tait

    1. Environment Department, Pancontinental Mining Limited, 50 Bridge Street, Sydney 2000, Australia
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    • Esso Australia Limited, Rundle Group, P.O. Box 1189, Gladstone, North Queensland 4680, Australia.


Abstract

A large natural fish kill which resulted in the deaths of a total of more than 3400 fish comprising eight different species occurred in a freshwater billabong (lagoon or small permanent waterbody) on the Magela Creek in the subtropical Northern Territory of Australia in January, 1980. The fish deaths were assessed to be the result of a combination of natural acid water runoff into the billabong and resultant elevated aquatic biotoxic aluminium levels. Details of water quality changes which occurred during the event and analytical data for the fish killed are provided, together with some explanation of the sequences of occurrence of the fish kill.

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