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Native fish
Native fish

How native fish are making a recovery at Bookmark Creek

02 Jun 2022 2 min read

Native fish have been found in the Riverland’s Bookmark Creek. Learn more about which species have been found and why it’s exciting news.

Riverland ecologists are excited.

They’ve recently found juvenile golden perch (Macquaria ambigua) and freshwater catfish (Tandanus tandanus) in the Bookmark Creek area in South Australia’s Riverland.

The discovery is a great sign of ecological improvements in the area. Golden perch and catfish are known to exist in the creek but are usually only found in small numbers during high flow events.

How were they found?

The Murraylands and Riverland Landscape Board Wetlands and Floodplain team undertook fish surveys in Bookmark Creek throughout March this year with the Bookmark Creek Action Group and St Francis of Assisi College students and were excited to discover these species in the system again.

Two adult and two juvenile freshwater catfish were caught during the autumn survey, which is very exciting considering researchers have no records of juvenile freshwater catfish caught in the past in this system.

How does it show signs of recovery?

The juvenile large-bodied native fish caught over two years of surveys is a great indication of breeding events that may have been triggered by the recent unregulated flows or weir pool raising.

The discovery shows an increase in fish diversity and abundance in the creek and supports the Sustaining Riverland Environments (SRE) program that is seeking to improve environmental conditions within Bookmark Creek.

How does the SRE program help?

The SRE program is in the final stages of design for proposed Bookmark Creek infrastructure upgrades at Jane Eliza Estate and Nelwart Street that will reinstate more natural habitat conditions for the type of native species found by the wetlands team.

These fish finds are exciting and show exactly why we need this infrastructure and rejuvenation work to continue supporting the aquatic life in Bookmark Creek.

They will improve flow conditions for the movement of the large-bodied native fish that the wetlands team are currently finding, as well as enhance community experience and recreation opportunities.

Interested in native fish? Find out how ‘re-snagging’ the River Murrayhelps native fish populations.

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