OzFish, through the Dubbo River River Repair Bus and team of volunteers, are working with Gunning District Landcare to remove invasive woody weeds from Oolong Creek, a tributary of Jerrawa Creek. This will help to support the waterway’s population of threatened Southern pygmy perch.

Photo credit: Luke Pearce

Removing invasive weeds to support native fish

The Southern pygmy perch (Nannoperca australis) is a small, deep bodied native fish that grows to a maximum size of 85mm. Once abundant across the state, the species has suffered major population declines and is now only found in three broad locations in NSW.

If action isn’t taken to preserve and support their numbers, there is a very real threat they could become extinct.

Volunteers from OzFish, Gunning District Landcare, and Dalton Community Association, as well as local landholders have been working alongside NSW DPI Fisheries to identify what on-ground works are required. The groups are also being supported by Associate Professor Mark Lintermans from the University of Canberra.

The first stage of the project will control invasive woody weeds, such as crack willow, blackberry, and white poplar, which are negatively impacting the waterway habitat, along a 2km stretch of the creek from the Gary Cosgrove bridge.

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4 SEPTEMBER 2023 | Huge Effort Underway To Help Southern Pygmy Perch Survive

As the name suggests, Southern Pygmy Perch are small in stature but they are in danger of disappearing altogether so OzFish Unlimited and Landcare NSW are embarking on a collaborative project to help restore their numbers.

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The project is part of OzFish’s Driving Fish Habitat Action partnership with Landcare NSW, in collaboration with Dalton Community Association, NSW DPI Fisheries, and renowned researcher Mark Lintermans, with funding support from the NSW Recreational Fishing Trust, the Australian Government through the CRC Program, and BCF – Boating, Camping, Fishing.