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Author Topic: Post flood monitoring aims to improve knowledge of fish responses to floods  (Read 3527 times)

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Post flood monitoring aims to improve knowledge of fish responses to floods
07 May 2012  NSW Fisheries

Post flood monitoring being undertaken by NSW Department of Primary Industries (NSW DPI) in the Lachlan River at Forbes on Tuesday 8 May aims to give researchers a better understanding of fish responses to floods and flows.

The Forbes site is one of 36 sites being sampled by NSW DPI in May/June as part of a post flood monitoring project co-funded by the NSW Government’s Office of Environment and Heritage and NSW DPI.

Other waterways being sampled include the Macquarie River, Murrumbidgee River, lower Murray River and Darling River.

NSW DPI Senior Fisheries Technician, Fisheries and Ecosystems Research, Prue McGuffie, said the monitoring project was particularly important as it would help ensure better management of environmental flows in the future.

“Recent flood events provide a very good opportunity for us to collect data,” she said.

“Floods of this size only occur every 30 to 50 years or so. We may not get another chance to collect data on how fish respond to such large natural flood events for a very long time.

“Every flood is different depending on season, water temperature, magnitude, duration and the period of time since the last flood. Therefore, every flood could affect the fish community differently.

“However, there has been little data collected to date on fish response to natural flows.”

Ms McGuffie said sites would be sampled approximately 60 days after the flood peak has passed.

“Our sampling techniques enable us to capture fish as small as 15mm and therefore detect any recruitment possibly due to the floods,” she said.

“We will be sampling fish populations using an electro-fishing boat. Once caught, we record the species, length and condition of each fish before returning them to the water.

“We are particularly excited about this project because it will give us a much bigger picture of how fish respond to floods and flows, which in turn will help facilitate management decisions that enhance native fish populations.”

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