Investigation launched after thousands of dead eels found in stream

Thousands of dead eels have been found in the Low Burn Stream near Mataura. Photo: Environment...
Thousands of dead eels have been found in the Low Burn Stream near Mataura. Photo: Environment Southland
Thousands of dead eels have been found in a stream near Mataura in Southland.

Environment Southland said its compliance and science teams investigated after a report of dead eels in the Low Burn Stream near Mataura.

Compliance manager Donna Ferguson said the team estimates there were several thousand dead eels over about a 10-kilometre distance.

“Our staff have spent extensive time out investigating any potential causes and we have identified one potential source.

"We have sent a suite of samples away for testing and will continue to look for further evidence.”

Photo: Environment Southland
Photo: Environment Southland
It was likely that people would continue to see dead eels as they make their way down the waterway and into the Mataura River.

“We know the deaths of these eels and other stream life in the area will be distressing. This is an active investigation and our teams are working hard to establish the cause.”

People were asked to avoid contact with the water, and report any further eel deaths to the compliance team on 0800 76 88 45.

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