About the document
There is an increasing focus on opportunities to rehabilitate wetlands by restoring wetting and drying cycles and matching these cycles with breeding patterns of native fish. Excluding or managing pest species such as common carp can assist by improving water quality and supporting the growth of juvenile native fish and aquatic vegetation, which in turn provides habitat for fish.
In spring and summer 2021-22, a period of high Murray River flows connected the river to many low-lying wetlands in the NSW lower Murray region.
Fish community netting surveys were conducted in wetlands filled through carp-exclusion screens or via pumped which excludes large carp (Ta-Ru wetland and Wingillie Lagoon/Boundary Creek) to assess colonisation by small fish. Assessments were also conducted in nearby Wangumma Lagoon, an unscreened wetland which serves as a comparison site. Of particular interest was colonisation by juvenile golden perch and silver perch. The results demonstrated that screened Lower Murray wetlands can provide fish nursery habitat for a number of native species in future – both threatened species and species of recreational importance.
The surveys were conducted by the NSW Department of Primary Industries-Fisheries.