Alan Dickens, Brunswick Heads
Mr Dey’s article on fish kills in the Belongil Estuary points to the impact of acid sulphate soil on the oxygen levels in the estuary system and the negative impact of the periodic opening of the Belongil estury to the sea has and that this contributes to the fish kills currently occurring.
Byron Shire Council used to regularly open the Belongil and Tallow Creek to the ocean and we never incurred fish kills. Perhaps more frequent opening might prevent fish kills?
Acid sulphate soil certainly is present. But possibly more relevent is the impact of the treated effluent from the West Byron STP’s constructed wetlands flowing into the back swamp area of Byron Bay that may be a contributing factor in creating the artificially high water levels.
Byron Shire Council’s acid sulphate reduction strategy led to the planting of thousands of Melaleucas on land that treated effluent. The purpose of these plantings was to reduce the level of acid sulphate. A study was to be done to test the success or otherwise of the project. The data should be available, the question is what does it show?
If the data shows that acid sulphate levels in the soil are increasing that would be a contributing factor to the quality of water being delivered to the estuaries and subsequent fish kills.