Water level in Kolleru Lake has hit the rock-bottom killing fish and fauna. Fish valued at Rs.20 lakh died due to lack of Dissolved Oxygen (DO) in the Kolleru Bird Sanctuary .

The delay in monsoon and the closure of irrigation canals owing to the ongoing delta modernization works in Krishna, West Godavari and the neighbouring districts, has delivered a crippling blow to country’s largest freshwater lake Kolleru.

Water level in Kolleru Lake has hit the rock-bottom killing fish and fauna. Fish valued at Rs.20 lakh died due to lack of Dissolved Oxygen (DO) in the Kolleru Bird Sanctuary here.

Speaking to The Hindu on Wednesday Krishna district Deputy Director of Fisheries K. Seetarama Raju said that oxygen content in water should be five to eight Parts Per Million (PPM) for healthy growth of fish.

Kaikalur Fisheries Development Officer, P. Suresh who is the in-charge of Government Aquaculture Lab said that because of water level dropping below 3 PPM, the fish in Kolleru perished. “The female fish will bear egg during June and July months. This unfortunate incident will affect the birds as there would be less feed”, said the FDO.

The officials should pump fresh water, reduce the fish stock and add calcium hydroxide and hydrogen peroxide to increase the oxygen level to preserve the remaining fish, said the Deputy Director.

“In June, the normal water level in the lake is around four to five feet, but, due to scanty rainfall and closure of irrigation canals, the water level has come down to a meagre one foot,” said the forest officials.

The main source of water for Kolleru Lake at Pittala Doddi is Polaraju Canal and three irrigation canals. The lake dried up as there were no inflows from catchments, said Deputy Forest Range Officer K. Durga Ram Prasad.

“The Forest Department will release fish seed, if necessary, in the lake to increase the feed for the birds depending upon the bird population. The forest authorities will take a decision soon, “said Mr. Durga Ram Prasad.

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