Amazing mudfish boom detected in Lake Hawdon North!

Last month we let you know that the feasibility of restoration at Lake Hawdon North, near Robe SA, is being investigated through the Healthy Coorong, Healthy Basin program, and that NGT has designed baseline ecological monitoring for the project.

Well, this month, monitoring got underway with spring fish surveys completed in early October. Ruan and Cory from Aquasave-NGT sampled a total of 920 fish across seven species, all of which were native.

Australian Mudfish accounted for more than half of the catch and, importantly, the species was detected for the first time in Lake Hawdon North (at all five sampled sites). The catch of Australian Mudfish was the highest ever recorded within the Lake Hawdon system (i.e. across both Lake Hawdon North and South).

This species, along with a number of others recorded (Congolli, Common Galaxias and Shortfinned Eel) are diadromous – they require connectivity between ocean and freshwater ecosystems to complete their lifecycle – emphasising the importance of hydrological connectivity across the catchment. Two freshwater specialists, Little Galaxias and Southern Pygmy Perch, were also recorded. These exciting results will provide vital information for the management and potential restoration of this ecologically important system into the future.

Captured fish are identified, counted, measured, and released.

The South Australia Government’s Healthy Coorong, Healthy Basin Program is jointly funded by the Australian and South Australian governments.

Sylvia Zukowski