A baseline fish survey of the Lower Mulloon Creek catchment will provide a benchmark for helping determine the impact of the Mulloon Community Landscape Rehydration Project (MCLRP) on numbers and varieties of fish fauna in the waterway.
The Mulloon Institute engaged University of Canberra’s Associate Professor Mark Lintermans and Dr Dan Starrs to undertake the survey across nine sites – six on Mulloon Creek, and three at comparable reference sites of nearby catchments at Bombay, Reedy, and Jembaicumbene Creeks.
Dr Starrs and Luke Peel (The Mulloon Institute) conducted the survey during March 2016 using backpack electro fishing and bait traps, in accordance with Sustainable River Audit procedures.
Out of the total 1170 fish surveyed, 941 were captured in the Mulloon Creek.
While the most abundant species across all nine sites was Gambusia holbrooki with 958 specimens, the pest species was not present at sites above the leaky weir constructions at Mulloon Creek Natural Farms.
It will be interesting to see how Gambusia numbers and their distribution change over the next two years as additional leaky weirs are established in the Lower Mulloon Creek as part of the MCLRP.
Overall, Mulloon Creek had good numbers and distribution of Mountain Galaxias (Galaxias olidus), yabbies (Cherax destructor), and one short-finned eel (Anguilla australis), with a few others sighted but unable to be caught.
Other notable species captured at nearby reference sites include a long finned eel (Anguilla einhardtii) measuring an impressive 1.2m, and western carp gudgeon (Hypseleotris klunzingeri) with more observed at site #6 in Mulloon Creek.
No European carp (Cyprinus carpio) were captured in Mulloon Creek, although five juveniles were captured in nearby Reedy Creek.
The Mulloon Community Landscape Rehydration Project is being conducted by The Mulloon Institute with the aim of rebuilding natural landscape function and resilience for the Lower Mulloon Catchment.
Click here for a map of the survey site locations.
Click here for the Mulloon Creek Baseline Fish Survey 2016 [4MB]