There has been the mass death of an estimated few hundred fish, and the annual carp muster has been cancelled, as historically low water levels continue to ravage Lake Keepit.
Fishing club president Anne Michie said the fish would have been decades old and the situation was “quite horrible” to witness.
Ms Michie said it was “just heartbreaking” but no surprise.
“The low oxygen levels [are] not enough to support the number of fish in the dam,” she said.
“We’ve had some pretty intensely hot days as well … We’ve been watching them not doing as well as they could be for quite a while”.
In an effort to avoid putting more pressure on the native species, the club has called off its yearly pest-species cull, Carp We Don’t Keepit, along with any of its own fishing activities.
“Even though we’re not targeting natives, they do wind up as by-catch sometimes,” Ms Michie said.
“And you can’t really ask people to go out there and try to enjoy themselves and have a good time when you’ve got dead fish and fish gasping for air.”
Member Bert Steele said the carp muster was “a major fundraiser for our club”.
“Not only did it rid our dam of over three tonne of carp, but was a fun couple of days of families fishing and having fun.”
Mr Steele and Ms Michie both laid blame for the situation on decisions to release what they say was too much water from the lake.
“Don’t blame the drought on this one. Enough environmental water should have been held back in the dam so our fish could have survived,” Mr Steele said.
“If a decent amount of water had been left in Keepit, we wouldn’t be facing all these problems,” Ms Michie said.
The NDL attempted to contact WaterNSW and DPI Fisheries for comment, but were unable to reach them on the public holiday.