Fog

Goulburn River survey nets encouraging results

A recent fish survey of the Goulburn River between Yea and Mangalore by scientists from the Arthur Rylah Institute on behalf of the Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority (CMA) has confirmed the presence of threatened Macquarie perch.

A recent fish survey of the Goulburn River between Yea and Mangalore by scientists from the Arthur Rylah Institute on behalf of the Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority (CMA) has confirmed the presence of threatened Macquarie perch. 

Goulburn Broken CMA River Health Officer Sue Kosch said confirmation that Macquarie perch were in the Goulburn River was great news for everyone involved in projects to boost the species’ population. 

“Two Macquarie perch were caught and one more observed,” Ms Kosch said.  “These individuals were collected about 2.5 kilometers downstream from the King Parrot Creek junction. “ 

Macquarie fingerlings have been released into the Goulburn River by Fisheries Victoria during stocking events over the past two years in an effort to restore viable populations back into major streams.  

One Macquarie perch collected during the survey was an adult (330mm long) and was not a stocked fish from recent years, while the other individual was a juvenile (120mm long) and could have been from the 2013 stocking event. 

Landowners along the river, as well as other tributaries, have been working with agencies to protect and improve habitat for the fish. 

“The results of this survey are great news and confirms sightings we’d had from local anglers about the presence of Maccas in the Goulburn,” Ms Kosch said.  

Forty six sites were sampled between the Yea River junction and Mangalore using boat electrofishing techniques.  

A total of 3,067 fish, comprising of eight native and seven introduced fish species, were captured or observed during the survey. Native species captured included Murray cod, golden perch, river blackfish, two-spined blackfish, mountain galaxias, flat-headed gudgeon and Australian smelt.  Freshwater crayfish were also recorded.  

The average length of Murray cod collected was 520mm (range 67-930mm), while the average length of golden perch was 398mm (range 250-590mm).  

There appeared to be an increase in the number of large-bodied native fish including Murray cod and golden perch with distance downstream (ie more fish towards Seymour). The survey also noted a healthy population of platypus.

Ms Kosch said 57 fish including 38 Murray cod, 18 golden perch and one Macquarie perch were externally tagged with a unique T-Bar tag during the surveys. 

“These tags are located near the dorsal fin,” Ms Kosch said.  “If anyone comes across one of these tags, there is a phone number on the tag and it would be greatly appreciated if people reported they had caught – and released – any of these fish.” 

The Mid-Goulburn River Project is funded by the Victorian Government’s Securing Priority Waterways – On Ground Works Program.  

For more information about the project, phone Sue Kosch on 5736 0100 or visit www.gbcma.vic.gov.au

Macquarie Perch.  Photo:  Scott Raymond

Macquarie  Perch.  Photo:  Scott Raymond