Recreational Fishing Trust, NSW Department of Primary Industries, $100,000
Dr Lee Baumgartner, Dr Luiz Silva and Dr Jason Thiem (Adjunct); Dr Brenton Zampatti (SARDI Aquatic Sciences); Gavin Butler (NSW DPI Fisheries).
Environmental Water and Biodiversity Conservation
Management of freshwater fish populations at relevant scales requires knowledge of fish life histories and population dynamics. In large and complex river systems such as the Murray-Darling Basin, specific regions may act as sources and sinks of particular life stages. Fundamental to effective management is an understanding of the sources or early life stages and subsequent growth and dispersal.
It has been previously assumed that fish spawn everywhere and that each river equally contributes to recruitment at a basin scale. But researchers are learning that this is not the case. Fish are spawning in specific rivers and then these fish move to other areas later in life.
This project aims to increase our understanding of spawning and recruitment of native species in the Basin, specifically golden perch, by identifying and mapping their spawning and recruitment zones.
The researchers hope to answer four specific research questions:
The findings from this project are expected to have direct benefits to recreational fishing and are expected to lead to the development of management policies that will protect, and where possible, enhance key habitats; management activities that will lead to a natural increase in native fish numbers; and a more strategic approach to fish stocking across the Basin.
Dr Lee Baumgartner
Dr Luiz Silva