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Author Topic: Fishers turn scientists to help monitor Murray crayfish  (Read 1154 times)

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Fishers turn scientists to help monitor Murray crayfish
« on: November 04, 2014, 09:59:50 AM »

Fishers turn scientists to help monitor Murray crayfish
03 Nov 2014 - NSW DPI




image of Murray crayfish marked for recapture



The future of research and management of Murray crayfish in the Edward Wakool river system is in good hands thanks to a community pilot monitoring program recently launched in the State's Riverina.
This ongoing collaborative project between Department of Primary Industries (DPI), Murray Local Land Services and Nature Glenelg Trust has enlisted the help of the Edward Wakool Anglers Association (EWAA) to undertake crayfish monitoring next year.
DPI Research Officer, Martin Asmus has teamed up with social scientist Dr Sylvia Zukowski, ecologist Dr Nick Whiterod and Senior Land Services Officer Anthony Conallin with the aim of using the skills, knowledge and enthusiasm of the local EWAA members to develop a locally based long-term monitoring program for the iconic native species.

"Involvement of recreational fishers and community stakeholders in the collection of scientific information is becoming increasingly important," Mr Asmus said.
"This strategy, known as 'Citizen Science', has the benefits of engaging local stakeholders, creating community ownership of a project and providing cost-effective sampling data.
"The Edward Wakool river system was recently closed to recreational fishing for Murray crayfish but the citizen science program under permit will allow for continued monitoring so we can further understand the population and their distribution within the area."

A training weekend was held in Deniliquin and involved local teams receiving hands-on instruction in sampling techniques and data recording. With 'pots' baited and clipboards at the ready, teams hit the water early the next day at several locations along the Edward River.
EWAA president, Ian Fisher has welcomed the opportunity to be involved in the program saying that communication and consultation were critical in managing a recreational species such as Murray crayfish.
"Directly contributing to the science that underpins the management of Murray crayfish within our area shows that there is trust, and importantly a commitment from DPI in maintaining an open and consultative relationship," Mr Fisher said.

"Data collected will contribute to a mark-recapture study planned for next year and give a better picture of the numbers of crayfish at sites within the Edward River."
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