Pelican Waters dead mullet mystery
MARINE biologist Craig Winkel has raised concerns about marine environment conditions at Pelican Waters after he found a large school of mullet dead or dying.
Mr Winkel, who lives in the southern Coast suburb, said there were between 1000 and 2000 dead or dying fish floating in the canal near his Columba Place home on Monday.
Their scales had fallen off, they had redness around the mouth, eyes and gill area and there was a loss of sheen on their bodies.
He was initially concerned the fish were affected by a toxic pollutant.
But after further checking, he noted there were small bream fish swimming around healthily as well as prawn lavae that seemed to be unaffected.
"If it was a pollutant or toxin then it was on the surface," Mr Winkel said.
He said mullet tended to venture close to the surface, which could have put them in contact with any pollutant that had stayed suspended high in the water.
But yesterday he was leaning toward a different theory.
"I'm still debating whether it's disease, or maybe they have gone through the weir and the water has bashed them around," Mr Winkel said.
"When they pumped the water in to bring it up or down, they (fish) got smashed terribly."
He said all of the fish he had caught and analysed were adult spawners.
A Sunshine Coast Council spokeswoman said officers yesterday launched an investigation at Pelican Waters.
"A waterways officer has this afternoon inspected the North Lakes Weir and Lock at Pelican Waters (and two other possible sites) and noted about 20-30 mullet swimming around the weir, which appeared to be in poor condition," the spokeswoman said yesterday.
"There were no dead fish."
She said the fish were on the southern side of the weir and had full access to the passage and tidal flushing.
"There were no indications of anything in the water that could be pinpointed as a cause to their poor condition.
"There could be a number of reasons why this could be happening, but without evidence, council is unable to comment."
She said the situation would be monitored over the coming days.