Lithgow City Council is pleased to announce that the temporary public health advice to not use lake Wallace for water contact activities will be lifted effective 10 January 2024. Recreational water contact activities, including fishing and boating, can now resume at the lake ahead of the upcoming Australia Day long weekend.

Lithgow City Council has been working with the NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) following the reports of large numbers of dead Redfin Perch being observed on Lake Wallace in the past week. As a precautionary public and environmental health measure Council advised the public to not use Lake Wallace for water contact activities until further information was available on the cause of the fish die off event.

Following the testing of Redfin Perch fish samples taken from Lake Wallace the Department of Primary Industries has confirmed that the cause of the die off event is an outbreak of Epizootic Haematopoietic Necrosis (EHN). The EHN virus is a species-specific virus only found in Redfin Perch populations. The EHN Virus poses no known threat to humans.

To reduce the spread of EHN into other waterways, Council would like to remind waterway users about the importance of good aquatic hygiene measures when moving between rivers and lakes, including the washing and drying of vessels, trailers and other fishing and boating equipment.

Further information on the EHN virus, and the risk posed by pest fish such as Redfin Perch, can be found at the NSW Department of Primary Industries website.