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Stunned fish show positive signs

Deniliquin experts were pleased with electrofishing results from the Waring Gardens lagoon system on Friday.

July 15, 2014 3:50am

Martin Asmus and Josh Campbell conducting testing at the lagoon.


Murray Local Land Services environment project officer Josh Campbell said electrofishing results from Deniliquin’s Waring Gardens lagoon system ‘‘were positive’’.

On Friday, Mr Campbell and Martin Asmus from Narrandera Fisheries conducted electrofishing — which uses electricity to stun fish — to check on the progress of the southern pygmy perch recently introduced to the system.

Mr Campbell said the technique causes no harm to the fish and is used to monitor aquatic animals such as the pygmy perch, which was introduced to the lagoons in 2012.

Although there were no pygmy perch caught, Mr Campbell said they found a few yabbies, gudgeons and gambusia fish, which all points to a healthy waterway.

‘‘In April, 2012, 250 adult pygmy perch were released into the lagoons,’’ he said.

‘‘What we really need to know is if the pygmy perch are breeding ... and we hope they are.

‘‘I’ll be increasing monitoring this year to see if that is the case.

‘‘This is the second year we’ve used electrofishing to see if we can catch any pygmys.

‘‘Even though we didn’t catch any it doesn’t mean they aren’t there — we caught one last November.’’

Mr Campbell said the Deniliquin lagoon project was a collaboration between Murray LLS, Deniliquin Council, Department of Primary Industries, Narrandera Fisheries, Yarkuwa Indigenous Knowledge Centre and the Deniliquin RSL Club.

As part of the project, local primary schools have assisted Mr Campbell with a bug watch survey and water quality monitoring, while Deniliquin High School students have helped him monitor fish numbers.

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