Rain benefits fish


Flooding in the Goulburn River has created the right conditions for a significant breeding event in the local population of golden perch, for the first time in 8 years.

This seasons rain has not only brought good news to the farming sector, the environment has also received a boost.
Flooding in the Goulburn River has prompted the local population of golden perch (Macquaria ambigua), to start breeding for the first time eight years.
Researchers from the Department of Sustainability and Environments Arthur Rylah Institute (ARI) have spent the past few months monitoring the river.
 Scientist for fish ecology Wayne Koster said the September floods were the first major flood event in the Goulburn for 15 years.
"Our research has shown the golden perch initial response to the floods was to move out onto the floodplains that are normally dry land, and gorge themselves on food that would otherwise be inaccessible. Now we've found that they have followed that up with a significant breeding event," Mr Koster said.
"We've been monitoring golden perch in the lower Goulburn River for eight years and last month was the first time we have detected a spawning event of any size.'
Mr Koster said the spawning event can be attributed to the extra food available to the fish immediately after the flood, ensuring fish were in excellent condition to breed. The follow-up high flows that occurred in October were also beneficial.
"This is crucial information showing the links between increased flows and Golden Perch spawning in the Goulburn River.
"An important step now is to continue monitoring the river to assess whether increased spawning results in improved adult fish populations."
The Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority has been funding this work for the past  five years.
GBCMA manager for strategic river health Wayne Tennant said assessing links between
increased flows and native fish spawning is very important.
"We need to know more about the effects of drought and flow events," Mr Tennant said.


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