The results are in and it is as I suspected there are no blackfish in the Curdies river or it tributaries . just think for a minute what that means , If it is true that each catchment has a different gene pool then we have lost the genetics from an entire river system , while we have been asleep at the wheel we have lost a fish through negligence , laziness , apathy and some bad actors .
What to do now .
Yarra Pygmy Perch eDNA Survey Result
The results are in!
The Enviro DNA Laboratory in Parkville got the results of our recent eDNA survey back to us this week.
Together we sampled 31 sites across the Curdies River catchment. Yarra Pygmy Perch are present through the Curdies River from the above the estuary up to the Lavers-Hill Cobden Road and in the Cooriemungle / Scotts Creek up to the Port Campbell-Cobden Road. Yarra Pygmy Perch were not recorded from any of the more minor tributaries, or surprisingly from any further up the Cooriemungle Creek above the Scotts Creek confluence (around Williams Rd – Timboon-Colac Rd intersection) where we would predict their distribution based on the habitat and stream flow. These results indicate that Yarra Pygmy Perch are present in around 65 kilometres of waterways in the Curdies catchment and improves our current understanding of their distribution, previously recorded with any regularity, from the lower reaches around the trestle bridge site.
Interestingly, Southern Pygmy Perch are recorded across a much broader area and being closely related and utilising similar habitats it is interesting that Southern Pygmy Perch are present in some of the more minor tributaries where Yarra Pygmy Perch were not recorded. Southern Pygmy Perch are recorded throughout the Curdies River right up to Purrumbeete – Beals Rd where the habitat is in very poor condition and typically dry over summer. They’re also recorded in Sunday, Monday, Whiskey, Fenton and Scotts creeks, and another minor tributary just downstream of the trestle bridge.
River Blackfish eDNA was sampled from ten locations in the Curdies River, Cooriemungle, Scotts, Black Glen and Cowleys Creek. No positive results were recorded.
I have attached some maps which will help to visualise where each species was recorded and their distribution throughout the Curdies catchment.
Thankyou all again for your contribution in helping us to understand the current status of these important threatened species in our catchments.
Project Officer | Corangamite Catchment Management Authority