FeralFishScan – get involved to reduce pest fish!

FeralFishScan is a new community website dedicated to collecting evidence of feral fish from our freshwater rivers.

Species such as European carp, Redfin perch, Goldfish, Gambusia and Oriental weatherloach are found in many rivers, but exactly where they occur is poorly known. These species are directly impacting our native fish and aquatic fauna in many ways, including the spread of disease and parasites, and predation on the young and eggs of native species.

Some pest fish can also affect the health of our rivers, lakes and creeks by compounding the effects of degradation from other sources, which in turn can affect the ability for native fish and aquatic fauna to thrive and breed.

Although we know roughly how these species are impacting our rivers, lakes and creek systems, we don’t have detailed catchment-wide data on where these pest fish are found and their numbers. We need your help to address this knowledge gap to better manage the effects of pest fish throughout our wonderful catchment. You can help by recording sightings of pest fish in the FeralFishScan community mapping facility throughout your catchment area. This data will then be available for everyone to see and use.

Carp are a major problem in the Murray-Darling catchment. Knowing more about carp in our catchment is really important! They are one of our worst aquatic pests and can breed very quickly. Mapping carp hotspots and where they breed is important for understanding their behaviour and identifying opportunities for control. Carp are often thought to require large, warm wetlands to breed, but we have very few of those types of wetlands, and we still have lots of carp! We need your help to fill in the pieces of this Carp Puzzle.Feral Fish Scan Fishing Image

When you see feral fish, record your observations – the location of the sighting, any fish breeding behaviour (such as spawning) and any habitat features. You can enter your data online on the FeralFishScan website, or you can enter your data while in the field using the FeralFishScan app on your mobile phone.

Get involved in your local area to reduce pest fish!

This article was adapted from FeralFishScan.

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Siwan Lovett

Siwan Lovett

Siwan manages the Finterest website and enjoys sharing stories about the latest research and on-ground projects to bring back native fish. She also manages the Rivers of Carbon (www.riversofcarbon.org.au) program that restores riparian zones in the Southern Tablelands of NSW to create habitat for native fish. She is editor of the popular RipRap Magazine that also shares fishy stories.
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