Wednesday, February 02, 2005

MYSTERY Number 2

Thousands Of Eels Found Dead
Milanda Rout - 02 feb 2005

""ABOUT 5000 eels were found dead in a Victorian lake yesterday.

And tests are being done to find out what is behind a growing death toll among them around the state.

About 150 eels were found dead in the Yarra last month and other deaths have since been reported in seven waterways, including Merri Creek and the Snowy River.

But yesterday's find of at least 5000 dead eels in Lake Modewarre, southwest Victoria, has jolted the Environment Protection Authority.

"It's a bit mysterious," said EPA chairman Mick Bourke.

"And it is the biggest eel kill we have had to our knowledge."

The death of the eels comes just weeks after 100 tonnes of carp died in the same lake.

Mr Bourke said the EPA was doing autopsies on the Lake Modewarre eels.

He said eel illness rather than water pollution might be to blame.

"It doesn't appear to be water quality," Mr Bourke said.

"It makes me suspect that it is an illness among eels."

The EPA blamed an increase in salt for the death of up to 100 tonnes of carp in late December. ""