Suburban native fish collections

Brett Mawbey electrofishing the Sandy Bay Rivulet

Inland Fisheries staff visited numerous sites along the Sandy Bay Rivulet to collect native freshwater fish for educational purposes. There are 25 species of native freshwater fish inhabiting a range of streams, rivers, and lakes around Tasmania. The fish were collected using backpack electro-fishers and delivered to Lobster Haven near Wynyard where they will be on display in aquariums.

On first glance of this rivulet, it appeared to be a shallow storm water drain, devoid of any life what so ever. However after walking upstream for less than a minute, it was obvious that this was not the case. Small juvenile yellow-eye mullet were caught at the mouth of the rivulet, while 200 metres further upstream a variety of small native fish were found residing among the debris. Spotted galaxias, jollytail galaxias, sandies, and short-fin eels were all found throughout the Sandy Bay Rivulet in healthy populations. Even further upstream towards the Parliament street park in Sandy Bay, the fish ladder which had been installed to assist in the upstream migration of these fish was observed. The “fish ladder” is constructed out of concrete and is designed to break-up the flow of water and provide resting areas for fish trying to swim upstream.

Much of the public are unaware of the diverse range of native fish species residing in Tasmanian waters, and the role which the Inland Fisheries Service plays in maintaining and managing these fish, to ensure there are healthy populations around for many years to come.

Jonah Yick

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