THE state government will spend $10 million on a modern-day Noah's ark, to protect native fish species from the "Armageddon" of fish kills.
The $10-million package includes a massive native fish-breeding program, artificial aerating of rivers to support fish survival and "extra dedicated fish teams to conduct rescue operations during fish kill events".
Agriculture Minister Adam Marshall said unless there was significant rainfall in the next month, the state would almost certainly be in for a horror summer of fish kills.
"I'm not going to mince words - the situation we are facing this summer is nothing short of a potential fish Armageddon," Mr Marshall said.
"We're in the midst of the worst drought on record, with record low rainfall, record low inflows into our river systems and high temperatures predicted over the coming months.
"We're facing a perfect storm, which could result in wide-scale fish kill events this summer that are even more significant than those we saw in Menindee earlier this year."
The funding also includes a $4-million expansion of the Department of Primary Industries' flagship Fisheries Hatchery and Research Centre in Narrandera, as well as other facilities, which will house many of the rescued fish.
Once conditions return to normal, Mr Marshall said the largest restocking program in the state's history would begin.
"There'll be more severe fish kill events this summer and we know there's not a lot we can do to prevent it," Mr Marshall said.
"But this new program will see every effort made to save and protect our native fish species and replenish stocks in our rivers and waterways when conditions improve."