Thousands of dead fish lined the banks of Lake Pamamaroo in remote western New South Wales as waterways run dry in the drought-stricken region.
In this drone footage, taken by filmmaker Rory McLeod on October 15, the fish can be seen coating the length of the parched body of water, part of the Menindee Lakes complex.
McLeod told Guardian Australia that he believed as many as 5,000 fish may have died in the incident.
However the vast majority were believed to be European carp, an invasive species, rather than the endangered native Murray cod.
In a statement, the NSW Department of Primary Industries said the aerial footage was consistent with satellite images that showed the lake was “almost completely dry”.
It said fish kills in the Menindee lakes were usually dominated by the carp as they lacked the evolutionary response of native species to seek deep channels in dry conditions.
Thousands of fish died in the Darling River system around Menindee earlier in the year, drawing outrage from locals who blamed mismanagement of the waterway. Credit: Rory McLeod via Storyful