Recently our attention was grabbed by this stunning footage of galaxiids in the Mornington Peninsula area.

We absolutely needed to know more! Read on for a short interview with the young videographer.

Lucy: How old are you and where are you from?

Henry: I am currently 18 years old and completing year 12. I live in Melbourne’s outer east.

Lucy: What are your hobbies?

Henry: My main hobbies revolve around fish! I like fishing, making my own wooden fishing lures, exploring waterways and fish keeping. Currently I keep Southern pygmy perch, Western pygmy perch, Dwarf galaxias, Carp gudgeons, and Flathead gudgeons. There are also Murray rainbowfish and “Bribie Island” Ornate rainbowfish (fish spread between both ponds and fish tanks).

This interest in the water doesn’t just revolve around fish – I also look for other aquatic organisms like Sphaeriids, Lepidurus, Amphipods and aquatic plants like Myriophyllum sp., etc.

Aside from this, I have also done a bit of 1/72 scale modelling of military vehicles and aircraft.

Screen grab from Mountain galaxias - Jamieson Victoria (Galaxias olidus). Credit: Henry Albert

Lucy: So, what sparked your interest in native fish?

Henry: My interest in fish started with trout fishing (and hooking the odd River blackfish), from a very young age. But I really got into native fish after getting my first fish tank. Shortly after, I discussed potential stocking ideas with an old Australia New Guinea Fishes Association member who then hooked me up with researcher Peter Unmack. Peter then came to stay at my family’s shared “shack” at Enoch’s Point on the Big River between Eildon and Jamieson in north central Victoria.

The reason I started filming fish was due to the great difficulty I had in locating non-diadromous galaxias, as streams without trout can be a difficult thing to come by. Out of curiosity, I thought it would be an interesting adventure documenting and trying to locate these remaining populations before more become lost, especially due to their interesting and wide array of habitats and geographic variation. I was also keen to potentially capture new/interesting aspects of their behaviour and interactions.

Note: Diadromous fish are fish that migratory between salt water and fresh water.

Lucy: Do you have a favourite moment or something you’ve encountered during filming?

Henry: My favourite moment during filming would have to be seeing the Shaw galaxias for the first time on the Bennison High Plains as it was my first time properly looking at galaxias swimming around in great numbers that were easy to observe. Before that, most of the non-diadromous galaxias I had seen were in really isolated remnant populations where you’re lucky to see more than 1-5 at time. In some instances, they can never be seen again despite the best efforts to search the same spot.

Finding a population of galaxias at Guy’s Hut that same weekend was also exiting. Pieman Creek was previously surveyed for Shaw galaxias due to its proximity to a known population, and only trout were found. Therefore, I had encountered the closest known population of Mountain galaxias to Shaw creek or (if I was lucky enough) even possibly a new population of Shaw galaxias.

Lucy: Who do you look up to in the fish/water space? Do you have any idols?

Henry: I look up to people like Peter Unmack, Greg Martin, Tarmo Raadik, Michael Hammer, Chris Lamin (Middle Creek Farm), Greg Wallis, Glen Briggs, Philip Littlejohn and Tim Curmi. As well as fellow NFA and ANGFA members, and other people I regularly source guidance from.

Lucy: What is your editing process like?

Henry: Editing is done on iMovie. I crop out all the parts with fish in them, then move all the “keepers” (good footage) to the front while deleting any parts that are not needed or worth keeping. I finish up by mixing the different parts while shortening them to size, so everything flows properly. I Also try to add background sounds of water flowing and bird sounds, but audio quality can sometimes be questionable at times, so often I remove it.

Screen grab from Shaw galaxias - Galaxias gunaikurnai. Credit: Henry Albert

Lucy: Do you want to study ecology/science in the future?

Henry: I am hoping to study freshwater ecology next year!

Lucy: What video are you most proud of?

The video I am most proud of at the moment is “Mountain galaxias Dudley Creek”.

These videos are truly stunning, a wonderful edition to the world of freshwater ecology!

Check out Henry’s channel here for more amazing content 

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