Plans for native fish to be introduced in Lesmurdie Brook

Plans for native fish to be introduced in Lesmurdie Brook

THE project to restore native fish to Lesmurdie Brook will start with a survey this autumn after State Government funding was granted to Friends of Upper Lesmurdie Falls.

The survey will be conducted by the Centre for Sustainable Aquatic Ecosystems at Murdoch University’s Harry Butler Institute.

Friends of Upper Lesmurdie Falls chairman Mike Robinson said the group welcomed the grant of $37,000 from the State Government natural resource management program.

“We’ve wanted to do water quality work for the six years we’ve been here but it’s been too expensive,” he said.

“We’ll be there for hands-on involvement for whatever direction given.”

Centre senior researcher Stephen Beatty said the survey would determine the health of the sites before any species can be introduced.

“We’ll be looking to do an autumn sample and a spring sample, those are important periods for fish species,” he said.

Centre for Sustainable Aquatic Ecosystems director Alan Lymbery said the project would show existing native aquatic species and whether there was scope for native fish and the endangered Carter’s freshwater mussels.

“They’re the only species of freshwater mussels found in South-West Australia and are vitally important to stream ecosystems” he said.

“There are 11 species of native fish in South-West Australia and nine of them are found nowhere else in the world.

“Most native fish species are small and shy, so not many people know they’re there.”

Community members wishing to participate in the restoration project can contact Friends of Upper Lesmurdie Falls at friendsofupperlesmurdiefalls@gmail.com