Please note that we have been advised that there is no danger to humans. It is safe to swim in the river. We ask only that children leave their swimmers at school at the end of the day. This is based on Department recommendations to minimise the chance of transmission from one area of the catchment to another. What follows is a summary of NSW Dept of Environment information. See below for the official press release.
Following the discovery of Bellinger River Snapping Turtles (Myuchelys georgesi) dead and dying in the Bellinger River late last month, a response team has been established to attempt to determine the cause. As a precautionary measure to limit disease spread from the lower Bellinger River, the upper catchment area in New England National Park including Brinerville has been closed to the public until further notice. See the map below.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
This outbreak is specific to one species of turtle and does not affect humans.
To help prevent potential spread of the disease, people are advised to report sick turtle sightings but not to enter the water, handle the turtles or try to capture any turtles in the Bellinger River.
People swimming in the river are asked to swim only in one location to avoid affecting other areas.
If people are using canoes or other water craft or equipment it is recommended that they are washed down with warm soapy water and thoroughly dried for 24–48 hours before re use. Avoid using in other waterways if at all possible.
Telephone 131 555 to report any sightings of sick or dead turtles.