Emptied lake in Myaree now brimming with new life

Melville Mayor Russell Aubrey helps Melville Primary School Year 4 students Piper Shepherdson, Lachie Dennis and Bridget Garrity to release the new native fish |into Lake Marmion.
Melville Mayor Russell Aubrey helps Melville Primary School Year 4 students Piper Shepherdson, Lachie Dennis and Bridget Garrity to release the new native fish |into Lake Marmion.

AFTER it was emptied last year, Lake Marmion in Myaree is now full again and brimming with life, after native fish were introduced last week.

The event marked the end of a three-year project – the first of its kind – to remove pest fish and choking weed from the popular parkside lake.

Fisheries Minister Ken Baston said a pest eel-tailed catfish (tandanus tandanus) and the pest weed salvinia molesta had both been eradicated from the lake.

“Tests conducted on the pest fish at the Department of Fisheries’ Fish Health laboratories also showed that a fish disease organism that causes red-spot disease was present in some of the 4000 catfish taken from the water body,” he said.

Mr Baston said native turtles were temporarily relocated until the catfish pest was removed, but had now been returned.

“Monitoring has shown there was no damage sustained by other wildlife during the carefully supervised project,” he said.

“Today’s release of native western pygmy perch and western minnow into Lake Marmion is also an opportunity to trial restocking in an urban environment.

“The Department of Fisheries has been working with the local Myaree community, including the nearby retirement home and local primary schools, to form a ‘guardians of the lake’ group, to watch over it and discourage any further dumping of pest fish.”

The pest catfish and weed was found to have infested Lake Marmion in late 2012.

At the time, the catfish was the first confirmed wild population of this species in WA and carried a fish disease never seen in Australia before, presenting an extreme health risk to native fish.

Report aquatic pests and diseases to FishWatch on 1800 815 507.