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‘One died in front of us’: More dead fish surface in the Darling River

“We’re sitting there, and one of them popped up and died in front of us,” Mr McCrabb said.

The latest fish deaths may not be the last, as waters remain something of a warm soup of blue-green algae with very little flow. Temperatures are expected to climb again towards 48 degrees in the shade in Menindee, and almost as high across much of the region, adding to stress on the fish.

At 10am, Menindee was already above 39 degrees.

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Mr McCrabb said he had contacted Department of Primary Industries fishery staff. DPI workers are in town on Thursday to continue to install aerators in a bid to raise the low-levels of dissolved oxygen levels and save vital fish stocks.

Fisheries officials had been anticipating more fish kills across NSW amid the extreme heat baking inland south-eastern Australia.

Oxygen levels drop each night as plants cease photosynthesis, adding to carbon-dioxide in the water, and push fish and other creatures beyond their thresholds.

A series of fish kills have been reported across NSW this month and authorities are expecting more, particularly with the record-breaking heat and limited access to water resources to flush away blue-green algal outbreaks.

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