Identifying Introduced Fish in the MDB

Identifying Introduced Fish in the MDB

This booklet discusses the different terminology around alien species (e.g. introduced, translocated, pest, noxious) and why alien fishes are so successful in establishing and expanding their distribution. The impacts of alien fishes are discussed as well as information about how these species arrived in Australia and the reasons behind their subsequent spread.

For each of the 11 alien fish species in the Basin, and one species immediately adjacent to the Basin (Mozambique tilapia, Oreochromis mossambicus), information is presented on scientific and common names, as well as providing guidance on how to identify the fish, maximum size, lifespan, diet, habitat, environmental tolerances, invasive ecology and potential impacts. A photograph of each species is provided and the presence of each species in the Basin states and territory is included. Broad management and control techniques and principles are discussed, and information is provided on how individuals can help control alien fish.

Atlantic salmon, Salmo salar
Brook char, Salvelinus fontinalis
Brown trout, Salmo trutta
Rainbow trout, Oncorhynchus mykiss
Carp, Cyprinus carpio
Eastern gambusia, Gambusia holbrooki
Goldfish, Carassius auratus
Oriental weatherloach, Misgurnus anguillicaudatus
Redfin perch, Perca fluviatilis
Roach, Rutilus rutilis
Tench, Tinca tinca
Tilapia, Oreochromis niloticus 

Implications for native fish

The book provides basic information that allows people to identify alien fish species, promotes awareness of fish conservation and highlights the major threats to native fish from alien species.


Karolak, S. (2006). Alien Fish in the Murray-Darling Basin. MDBC Publication No. 03/06. Murray-Darling Basin Commission, Canberra. (missing project file)

Ayres, R. and Clunie, P. (2010). Management of freshwater fish incursions: a review. Arthur Rylah Institute foe Environmental Research. Department of Sustainability and Environment, Heidelberg, Victoria.

McLeod, R. (2004). Counting the Cost: Impact of Invasive Animals in Australia, Cooperative research Centre for Pest Animal Control, Canberra.

Ansell, D. and Jackson, P. (2007). Emerging issues in Alien Fish Management in the Murray-Darling Basin: Statement, recommendations and supporting papers. Canberra, Murray-Darling Basin Commission.

Gehrke, P.C., St Pierre, S., Matveev, M. and Clarke, M. (2010). Ecosystem responses to Carp population reduction in the Murray-Darling Basin. Project MD923 Final Report to the Murray-Darling Basin Authority.

Jackson, P. & Bamford, H. (eds) 2011. Gambusia Forum 2011: Small fish…..big problem! Proceedings of a workshop held in Melbourne 1-2nd June 2011. Murray Darling Basin Authority, Canberra.

Stuart, I. (2009). The Mark V Williams Cage for co-ordinated trapping of Murray fishways. A final report to the Murray-Darling Basin Commission (now Murray-Darling Basin Authority). Kingfisher Research.

Stuart I., McKenzie J., Williams A., Terry Holt T., (2003). Separation cages for removal of carp from Murray-Darling Basin fishways. A report on preliminary tests of the ‘Williams’ Carp Separation Cage’ to the Murray-Darling Basin Commission. Department of Sustainability and Environment

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