After 40 years, Murray Crayfish have returned to South Australia!

For the first time in 40 years, Murray Crayfish have been released into SA waters!

The Murray Crayfish is the second largest freshwater crayfish in the world and can weigh up to 2 kilograms, but has been lost from the southern extent of the Murray River due to over-fishing and environmental degradation.

Following the recent flooding, water quality has now improved sufficiently, so NGT and the Murraylands and Riverland Landscape Board have partnered up to release Murray Crayfish in SA. A breeding program is also being trialed to boost numbers, which has not been done before.

The next stage of this project will involve a tracking program using transmitters and receivers to monitor the newly released individuals. We hope to soon see Murray Crayfish again thriving in their rightful home!

NGT has been involved in the conservation of this species for many years, including monitoring and translocations (moving a species to another location, usually to where it was previously found) in other states (see this previous post about last years crayfish surveys).

To learn more about this recent milestone, please take a look at this ABC news segment on the release, featuring NGT’s senior aquatic ecologist Sylvia Zukowski:

This project was funded by the Murraylands and Riverland Landscape Board.
Project supporters included North West Aquaculture, Ozfish, New South Wales Department of Primary Industries, Victorian Fisheries Authority and Department of Primary Industries and Regions, South Australia

Sylvia Zukowski