The last weekend in March saw Beachmere locals stressed and angry over a major fish kill in the Beachmere Lake.
Ten years ago a similar major fish kill occurred and the Council, at the time, said it would “never happen again”.
Well it has, it did and it was a “disaster”.
Hundreds, if not thousands, of fish and crabs perished in the lake to the west of Biggs Avenue. Theories abound, from low oxygen levels in the water, to low salinity and even temperature variations with a pollutant not yet ruled out.
Moreton Bay Regional Council staff were on hand early Saturday morning trying to retrieve surviving fish and relocate them to the bay. Their attempts to aerate the water with a small trailer pump was totally insufficient and it was some time later in the day that other attempts to rectify the situation were attempted.
By Sunday morning, hundreds of dead fish and crabs were being taken from the lake and “disposed of”. Biggs Avenue was closed to traffic, and a detour in place, as water was pumped from the bay into the Lake and the pungent smell of dead fish permeated the area around the lake.
Ben Diggles, of Digsfish Services, a local aquatic specialist, was in attendance on Sunday ensuring water and fish samples were taken.
Residents of the houses around the lake met on the Monday preceding the weekend about bank retention issues and, at the time, were assured by Council staff that the aerator used to ensure adequate oxygen levels in the lake was “working”.
Unfortunately for the hundreds of aquatic animals that perished this is up for debate. Beachmere residents are upset, angry and are definitely looking for answers. As one local resident whose house backs on to the lake said, “Heads should roll”.
This is the second major fish kill in Beachmere in recent weeks with another incident occurring in the Caboolture River in mid March. A third problem was also lodged with Dept of Environment & Science on Saturday, with an, as yet, unidentified problem in the Caboolture River on Saturday morning from an algal bloom or an oil slick.