A NSW Government website


Fish deaths in Menindee

Information and updates on the ongoing monitoring and management of fish deaths in the Lower Darling-Baaka River at Menindee and downstream.

Cleaning up dead fish in river

Mass fish deaths at Menindee

NSW Government agencies, along with Commonwealth and local partners have been undertaking water quality monitoring since early Spring 2022 to review dissolved oxygen conditions across NSW, identify potential risks to ecological communities, implement mitigating measures to evolving blackwater occurrences and respond to the mass fish death event in the Darling-Baaka River that occurred in March 2023. The fish deaths are believed to be attributed to hypoxia, caused by a combination of hypoxic blackwater, a high biovolume of algae, and a significant biomass of fish, as a result breeding following three wet years. Hypoxic blackwater is a naturally occurring phenomenon which causes extremely low dissolved oxygen levels.

The mass fish death event near Menindee is upsetting for the local community and everyone living and working in and around the river. Water is a precious resource for both people and the environment and we are continuing to proactively manage the conditions creating poor water quality to reduce the risks of further mass fish deaths.

Menindee Lakes cultural significance

Find out why the Menindee Lakes and Darling River (the Baaka) are so culturally important to the Barkindji people.

What is 'blackwater'?

Low dissolved oxygen levels in rivers can lead to stress and death in native fish.

Dead fish in river

Barwon and Darling-Baaka Rivers

A snapshot of events in the Darling-Baaka Rivers.

Boat travelling down river

Community updates and frequently asked questions

Regular updates and frequently asked questions

Man talking to community in hall