The devastating fish kill in the Curdies River has continued as dead cows have joined hundreds of freshly dead fish in the ailing waterway.
Recreational fisherman Bill Reddick spotted what he estimated were 20 dead cows as he paddled past the point where the Peterborough Coastal Reserve narrows into the Curdies.
"I went down fishing to the area they call 'the Narrows', which is where the river joins the lake and at that point on the northern side there was a number of cattle right on the shore," he said.
"They looked to be young animals, so probably six to 12 months old."
The Ballarat resident, who was holidaying in Port Fairy, had travelled down to the Curdies River to fly fish, having heard nothing about its putrid recent condition.
As well as the dead cows he said he found a huge number of dead fish as he moved upstream. He said the dead fish were mostly bream and continued at least three kilometres upriver.
"It was at least several thousand because it was quite thick for the first two kilometres upstream from the river mouth."
One Peterborough resident who asked not to be named said he thought there was nothing left alive in the river and that fishermen couldn't even find shrimp or minnows in the waterway.
He said dozens of locals were concerned about the situation and convinced there was more than blue-green algae involved. He said he had seen blue-green algae before, but the water in the river was more like "pea soup".
Many are worried the worst of the fish kill has been adjacent to the Peterborough Sewage Farm, which is less than 200 metres from the river around a kilometre upstream.
After the initial fish kill in early April, the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning only commissioned testing for blue-green algae in the river.
The Standard asked whether further testing had been done, or whether testing for sewage-related bacteria had been done, but did not receive a response by deadline.
Several Peterborough residents met over the weekend to discuss the issue, deciding to commission their own independent testing of the waterway.
The Peterborough resident who spoke to The Standard said the independent testing might be a slow process, but the group were disappointed by what they perceived as a lack of action from DELWP and the Environmental Protection Authority Victoria.
He said in over three decades he had never seen the Curdies River in such bad condition.
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