Fishers warned not to fish at Cherry Lake following recent chemical spill

Cherry Lake in Altona is a popular lake for fishing in Melbourne’s west. We’ve received reports from concerned recfishers based in the Altona area after witnessing a mass fish kill with hundreds, if not thousands, of dead fish floating and lining the banks of the lake. Dead fish have also been found on the nearby Altona dog beach where the creek meets Port Phillip Bay.

This is a devastating result of a recent chemical spill which saw the water contaminated with more than 12,000 litres of a detergent-like substance. While the initial chemical spill occurred in Laverton North, the pollution travelled through stormwater drains to Cherry Creek, Cherry Lake and flowed through to Port Phillip Bay.

The EPA sent an urgent warning to residents in the area, and put warning signs in place, to ensure the public steer clear of the toxic water while authorities determined what and who was responsible for the pollution. They’ve advised that it will take weeks to resolve. A Melbourne based logistic company have confirmed that they were responsible for the chemical spill – following a small fire.

Melbourne Water crews have been working continuously to clean up the waterway and remove the dead fish. So far, approximately 15 tonnes of dead fish, mainly carp, have been removed from the lake and appropriately disposed of. To stop more polluted water entering Cherry Lake, Melbourne Water have pumped more than 3,000,000 litres of polluted water to sewer from Humes Drain and Cherry Creek.

Recfishers are warned not to catch or consume fish from the lake until further notice.

Photo: EPA Victoria



Visit the EPA’s website or contact their hotline for the most up-to-date information regarding the incident.

The EPA have been hosting community information sessions to provide updates on the current pollution incident affecting Cherry Lake. Community sessions have been advertised via the EPA Victoria Facebook page. Information presented at the sessions has been uploaded to the EPA’s website here.

If you see dead fish or other signs of the effects of pollution, report them to the EPA on 1300 EPA VIC (1300 372 842) or [email protected]

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