1965 February: Myrtleford Region – Ovens River. Spray drift, water pollution.

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Mr *** of Myrtleford, told how fish deaths in the district had been reported within 24 hours of aerial spraying in February 1965.

A total of 17 reports had later come in from areas where aircraft had operated.

In one case, 400 dead fish had been counted.

In a personal investigation he had counted 21 dead fish in three-quarters of a mile of river alongside tobacco which had been air-sprayed.

“In wading up this water no sign of any aquatic life was seen”

“Immediately above the area sprayed there were many fish, nymphs and aquatic life and fish were rising to surface insects”.”

“It was the most conclusive thing I had seen.”

Mr Robbins said he had been told that spray had been found on the windows of a house on ground a mile from a tobacco crop sprayed from the air.

In another case, two people bathing in the Ovens river had been covered with spray.

Mr Robbins claimed aerial spraying was a major cause of stream contamination in the tobacco growing districts, causing the loss of fish and fish food.

Newspaper Article 1966. (Victorian Pesticide Inquiry)