Researchers from the Arthur Rylah Institute have expanded our knowledge of one of Victoria’s threatened native fish species by finding a unique location in a local creek that was crucial to its recovery following the 2009 bushfires.
The research on Macquarie perchwas carried out in King Parrot Creek between Flowerdale and Kerrisdale and found a spawning site which became the focus of the species as it struggled to bounce back following the fires.
Macquarie perch has virtually disappeared from the Goulburn-Broken Catchment over the past hundred years so it is vital to understand the response of this population to the 2009 fires.
As heavy sediment loads flowed into the creek following the fires, a number of fish were rescued from the creek and kept at the Department of Primary Industries’ (DPI) Snobs Creek hatchery until King Parrot Creek recovered.
The species did spawn again, and out of all the sites sampled, 95% of the breeding activity was focused on a single location.
A series of netting surveys conducted in the creek found that sedimentation and cooler water temperatures had a significant impact on breeding activity.
This work will assist management of Macquarie perch and add-value to the breeding program currently underway at DPI’s Snobs Creek fish hatchery.