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Author Topic: Brighter future for endangered Macquarie Perch  (Read 1280 times)

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Brighter future for endangered Macquarie Perch
« on: December 17, 2013, 06:22:42 PM »
Brighter future for endangered Macquarie Perch NSW DPI - 17/12/13

Photo of DPI staff sampling a possible stocking site for Macquarie Perch

The endangered Macquarie perch are facing a better future with breeding success achieved at the Department of Primary Industries’ (DPI) Narrandera Fisheries Centre.
This week 10,000 Macquarie perch fingerlings will be released into remote locations of the Abercrombie River in the Central West this week.

Hatchery Manager of DPI Narrandera Fisheries Centre, Matt McLellan, said Macquarie perch were once widespread across upland and midland areas of the Murray-Darling Basin but the species has been in rapid decline since the mid-1900s.

“Habitat degradation, riverbank erosion, the introduction of foreign fish species such as redfin, and dam construction have combined to push the species to the brink of extinction, leaving just six small, isolated populations across NSW,” Mr McLellan said.

“Over the last 20 years DPI and others have made several attempts to breed Macquarie perch but they have met with little success until now.

“A concerted effort by DPI’s expert staff at Narrandera has led to high numbers of fingerlings being produced in recent years.

“I am pleased to say 10,000 ‘Macca’ fingerlings are being released into select remote locations of the Abercrombie River in the Lachlan River catchment this week.
”This follows the release of about 7,500 Macquarie perch fingerlings in the same area two years ago.

“Another 2,000 Macquarie perch fingerlings are expected to be ready for stocking early in the new year and all of these have been bred at DPI’s Narrandera Fisheries Centre.”

The breeding program involves keeping the parent fish in ponds where aspects of the Macquarie perch’s natural environment have been carefully recreated.

“The parents of these fingerlings are being held at Narrandera Fisheries Centre for safe keeping because of fears that the noxious and invasive redfin perch, recently found in the upper Lachlan River catchment, could devastate Macquarie perch populations in that area,” Mr McLellan said.

“Redfin compete for food and probably eat young Macquarie perch, as well as potentially carrying a devastating virus which is fatal to the fish.”

DPI is grateful for financial assistance and support from the Lachlan Catchment Management Authority (CMA) and the NSW Recreational Fishing Trusts, where all money raised by the NSW Recreational Fishing Fee are placed into the Recreational Fishing Trusts and spent on improving recreational fishing in NSW.

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