Technicians from the Association of Naturalists of the Southeast -ANSE- have verified a great mortality of fish in the Los Rodeos reservoir, located in the Murcian municipalities of Alguazas and Torres de Cotillas. The death of marine species seems to be related to a low entry of flow to the reservoir, have pointed out from ANSE, which until recently had had “high levels.” Once the fish mortality was verified, it has been communicated to both the Segura Hydrographic Confederation -CHS- and the Nature Protection Service is a specialty of the Civil Guard -SEPRONA- so that the causes of death can be determined.
It is a regulation reservoir with a capacity of 15 cubic hectometres of water, and which was filled “probably with the cold drop of a couple of years ago”, Jorge Balibrea Sánchez, biologist and ANSE collaborator, told this media. The initial hypothesis of ecologists, waiting to be confirmed by the relevant environmental authorities, is that their water level has been dropping. The flows carried by the Mula river – where the reservoir is located – “are not enough to have kept that area flooded and have decreased considerably. Too much fish in little water has been able to cause oxygen to be consumed and anoxia occurs.”
Although it has not been possible to access the area where the dead fauna are found, the most affected species seems to be the common carp, an invasive exotic species, but mortality could be affecting other species of fish less resistant to anoxia.
ANSE recalls that the Los Rodeos reservoir is included in the Natura 2000 Network – a network of biodiversity conservation areas in the European Union. The Association has been requesting before the CHS and the Regional Government of Murcia that sufficient flows be guaranteed to safeguard the conservation objectives of this space. “However, neither the Basin Plans, nor the Management Plans of the Natura 2000 Network spaces adequately address this aspect, since the Mula River flows are determined by the management carried out by the Irrigation communities.” The ANSE has indicated that Los Rodeos is home to notable environmental values such as a colony of ardeida birds and ibis, among which are the gray heron, the cattle heron, the moorish and possibly the purple heron.
“We ask both the CHS and the Autonomous Community, that being an area of the Natura 2000 Network, there is a forecast of which are the flows that must circulate along the Mula and Pliego rivers, which are both rivers that eventually converge and supply this reservoir, “said Balibrea. The biologist criticizes that the operation of the flows has been at the expense “of the farmers, who have wells and draw water from the riverbed according to their needs without taking into account the environmental values of the area. With which episodes like this can occur.” .
The mayor of the municipality of Campos del Río, María José Pérez, has been outraged at the situation. “The same thing happens every year” has snapped the first mayor, whose town is a few kilometers from the reservoir. The CHS has indicated that it has been draining to maintain the flow in Los Rodeos, but they are investigating whether there has been any interference that may have affected the low water level. “In everything that concerns us, there is a neglect that is unbearable,” explained Pérez, who has broken a spear in favor of the president of the CHS Mario Urrea: “Since he was here, the flow has improved, but he has always been they forget that in summer they have to continue to maintain it “. The mayor recalled that it is the Cierva reservoir -connected with Los Rodeos- that has to ‘release’ water, but since no one puts brakes and limits on them, they retain to irrigate as much as possible and the flora and fauna of Campos del Río faint and die. “The first councilor has indicated that they have requested to the Confederation” a minimum ecological flow of the Mula river, which could leave the Cierva de Mula dam or the Pliego reservoir, so that it reaches the reservoir and the flora can subsist “.