Mallee Catchment Management Authority (CMA) have been working alongside the Victorian Fisheries Authority (VFA), traditional owners, and other partners to examine projects conducted in 2016 that show stocking native fish into recently wetted wetlands for conservation and recreational purposes can see native fish undergo a rapid growth and heightened survival rate.

In light of these findings, Mallee CMA and VFA employees released 120,000 Golden Perch and Silver Perch into Wallpolla Horseshoe Lagoon on Thursday, the 31st of January 2019, for conservation and recreational purposes. The Lagoon was pumped full from the Murray River in November, 2018 during elevated river flows, which excluded adult Carp from entering the wetland and has consequently provided ideal habitat for native fish fry.  The video below tells the story…

Mallee CMA communication officer for environmental water Braeden Lampard said the trial release was modelled on a similar event undertaken in NSW.

“Previous research has shown projects like this can work, so Mallee CMA have adapted the project and used it in Wallpolla Horseshoe Lagoon. If the conditions are right and introduced species are eradicated, then off stream habitats like this provide the perfect recipe for heightened survival rates for native fish. This is an extremely exciting project as this technique of stocking native fish is a new way of thinking” he said.

Mallee CMA plan to run a series of community events in 2019 and will provide opportunities for those fish to return naturally to the river.

If you would like to know more about this exciting project, or be involved with future events, then please get in contact with Mallee Catchment Management Authority.