River

Hollands Creek survey results show rehabilitation work pays off

Tuesday 29 January, 2013
The endangered Macquarie Perch population in Hollands Creek has significantly increased, according to a recent report prepared by the Arthur Rylah Institute for Environment Research for the Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority (CMA).

The endangered Macquarie Perch population in Hollands Creek has significantly increased, according to a recent report prepared by the Arthur Rylah Institute for Environment Research for the Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority (CMA).

The report on the Hollands Creek Demonstration Reach project provides information on trends in the local fish population following work undertaken by the community and the Goulburn Broken CMA along the creek between Swanpool Bridge and Spring Creek.

Arthur Rylah Institute scientist Dr Scott Raymond said rehabilitation works were the key to increased native fish populations in the creek.

“Large-bodied native fish populations within Hollands Creek have significantly improved following the implementation of recent habitat rehabilitation works,” Dr Raymond said.

“This is extremely encouraging for the endangered Macquarie Perch population, which was in critically low numbers five years ago. Following recent habitat restoration works, the Macquarie Perch population has significantly increased in abundance, extended their distribution within the creek and successfully bred juveniles over the past few months. This is an outstanding result for a species that has recently declined in abundance across much of its former range. While these results are encouraging, further works, research and monitoring will improve the long-term outlook for our native fish species.”

Goulburn Broken CMA Strategic River Health Manager Wayne Tennant said the institute had undertaken surveys on an annual basis for the CMA.

“A key element of the project was to assess changes in stream health and the fish communities that would benefit from improved stream conditions,” he said.

“The positive results follow the previous good results from the 2011/12 survey which had also showed improvement in both native and recreational species in Hollands Creek.”

Mr Tennant said threats to native fish included drought, floods, blackwater, poor riparian areas, barriers to migration, loss of habitat, reductions in water quality and the spread of introduced pest fish species.

“This study has shown the benefit that native fish derive through on ground works and community action,” he said. “The exciting results build on the success of previous work and actions being undertaken by the community along Hollands Creek over the past three years.  However, further protection over the coming years is still required to protect this critically endangered species and the health of the creek.”

Anyone wishing to become involved in the Hollands Creek Demonstration Reach project can contact the Goulburn Broken CMA on 5820 1100. To find out more please visit Hollands Creek Demonstration Reach