Their natural environment is the wetland – send them home!
A small, but significant, release of southern purple-spotted gudgeon recently took place in the Lower Murray. Approximately 225 fish were released by students from Alberton Primary School and Urrbrae Agricultural High School into the wetland north of Murray Bridge where they were rediscovered in 2002 – after being considered regionally extinct (since 1990s, with last verified record in 1973). Not long after their rediscovery however, the wetland completely dried due to the drought, but fortunately fish were rescued into a captive breeding program that has been able to produce fish for reintroduction into wild locations. Students from both schools have been involved in this captive breeding, so it was fitting that they could send the fish home!
The fish release was featured on ABC Riverland’s wildlife segment (here) as well as news broadcasts across the state (including ABC South East; Radio National and ABC 891).
Thanks to all involved, including Todd Goodman, Mike Hammer, Kate Mason, John Adams, Craig Kemp and students from both schools (including teachers Grahem Doyle and Simon Angley).
I will provide updates of monitoring (to track success of the releases) and further releases.