Second wave of fish deaths in NSW labelled an 'environmental catastrophe'

Second wave of fish deaths in NSW labelled an 'environmental catastrophe'

The NSW Government is investigating after photos emerged of more dead fish on the banks of the Darling River at Menindee in the state's far west.

Videos and pictures posted to Facebook show struggling fish gasping for breath at the surface of the water as the carcasses of hundreds of smaller dead fish float around them near the town about 100km east of Broken Hill.

Menindee resident Rob Gregory said there were at least 200-to-300 dead bony bream, as well as some native species.

Mr Gregory said the latest fish to die would have likely been survivors from previous events.

He warned that conditions in the Darling River could deteriorate further.

The state government has installed aerators in some waterways to keep the levels of oxygen up for fish, but Regional Water Minister Niall Blair said it was fresh water that was ultimately needed for them to survive.

Local man Graeme McCrabb told the ABC "thousands" of small bony bream were floating in the area.

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Earlier this month, the area rose to prominence after about one million fish died in the area.

Fisheries officers from NSW's Department of Primary Industries are on their way to the river to confirm the number of fish killed.

"It is likely linked to some rain and cooler temperatures in the Menindee area following an extended period of very hot weather", a spokeswoman said in a statement to AAP.

"Central Darling Shire Council has deployed a clean up operator who is also tasked with recording information about the event".

A Bureau of Meteorology spokesman told AAP temperatures at Menindee peaked at 48.8C on Friday, falling to 23.3C on Sunday, but said "that's not unusual for this time of year".

Opposition leader Bill Shorten called on the government to act, saying on Monday that the Murray-Darling was "facing the makings of an ecological disaster". "This is a disaster", he told reporters in Melbourne.

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