Freshwater Guardian - Freshwater fishing news from the Department of Fisheries, Western Australia
Issue No.6, December 2015

Indigenous rangers join fight against aquatic pests

Rangers learn to identify pest species

Indigenous ranger groups from across the Kimberley have joined forces with us to strengthen WA’s frontline defences against aquatic pests.

Earlier this year, our biosecurity team delivered workshops to more than 70 Indigenous rangers, raising awareness about aquatic biosecurity, identifying pests and establishing an ongoing partnership.

Worldwide, invasive species are second only to habitat loss as the main threat to biodiversity in our environment, with aquatic pests a significant threat to WA’s oceans and waterways. More.

Crime scene investigation: forensics track pest fish

Edith Cowan University Master's student Lis Smith collects water samples

Unwanted ornamental fish are now the majority of fish in many of our metropolitan freshwater lakes.

Until recently, sniffing out the presence of ornamental fish in water bodies presented challenges. However, in an attempt to get the upper hand on pest fish, our freshwater biosecurity team joined Edith Cowan and Curtin universities to test a forensic method that might provide a breakthrough in pest fish detection. More.

Fines for fish smugglers

Photo of a silver arowana

In an increasing effort to stop the illegal importation of exotic fish into Western Australia, our biosecurity compliance team has been randomly inspecting incoming parcels at the Perth Domestic Airport.

One recent discovery landed two offenders with hefty fines totalling over $3,000 for the translocation of high-risk arowana (pictured) and bichir fish, banned from import into Australia. More.

Pesky pest fish prevail in Perth lakes

Chris Bird from the Department of Fisheries holds a marbled eel, a pest species

In 2012 we set out to find how many native and introduced fish are present in the permanent wetlands and lakes in the Perth metropolitan area.

Our survey sampled over 300 sites and the prominence of introduced fish (like this marbled eel pictured) was overwhelming, with over 80 per cent of lakes affected. Sadly, only about five per cent of the lakes were found to contain native freshwater species. More.

Image credits: Silver arowana fish photo by Joxerra Aihartza.