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Native fish thriving at the Railway Lands

Native fish thriving at the Railway Lands
09 July

Pygmy Perch thriving at the Railway Lands.
Pygmy Perch
Pygmy Perch thriving at the Railway Lands.

In April 2017 Natural Resources South East (NRSE) and City of Mount Gambier translocated 200 Southern Pygmy Perch (Nannoperca australis) from Pick Swamp at Piccaninnie Ponds Conservation Park to the large water catchment area at the Railway Lands. 

NRSE Wetlands Conservation Ecologist Steve Clarke said the project aimed to take a sterile pond and make it function as a native ecological system.

“Using suitable native fish and aquatic plants was a big part of this process. NRSE provided suitable plants, which were then nurtured over a year until they were ready to go into the pond,” Mr Clarke said.

“Meanwhile, Council staff constructed special cages that attach to the sides of the pond to hold native aquatic vegetation which the fish need for habitat,” City of Mount Gambier Environmental Sustainability Officer Aaron Izzard said.

Once the habitat was in place, the Southern Pygmy Perch were caught at Pick Swamp and released in the Railway Lands pond.

“We are happy to report that more than a year later the fish are thriving and breeding in their new habitat, which is a great outcome,” Mr Izzard said.

Both parties believe the project has been an important step in the right direction to create a new home for the protected species of fish.

“One of the bonuses of having fish in the pond is that they will control mosquitos,” Mr Clarke said.

“This project has been a great partnership between Council and NRSE,” Mr Izzard said.

Media contact: For further information please contact City of Mount Gambier Media and Communications Coordinator Sharny McLean on 8721 2401 or smclean@mountgambier.sa.gov.au