All fish monitoring stations in a 90km long fish tracking array in the Upper Murrumbidgee River have now been installed thanks to project staff and some pretty dedicated volunteers.
This was no mean feat, as deployment of the monitoring stations required 8-hour long paddles into remote sections of the river to ferry in the equipment, including lengths of railway iron that are used to anchor the monitoring stations in the river.
Why are we so excited about this achievement?
Firstly, the area covered by this fish tracking array is much larger than it was ever going to be due to the collaboration of NSW DPI (Fisheries), Prue McGuffie (PhD researcher), Bush Heritage Australia, the Upper Murrumbidgee Demonstration Reach (UMDR), the Capital Region Fishing Alliance and the NSW Recreational Fishing Trust.
Thanks to these project partners the array now covers nearly half the length of the upper Murrumbidgee River, south of the ACT, including the section running along Bush Heritage’s Scottsdale Reserve boundary.
Secondly, the project will now be tracking the movements of multiple species, including Macquarie perch (Prue McGuffie’s Macquarie perch PhD research project), European carp (UMDR Carp Research project) and Murray cod (at Scottsdale Reserve), providing information that's currently unknown for the upper Murrumbidgee.
Better still, by tracking these species at the same time we may also be able shed light on how native and pest species interact. This information can then be used to support native fish conservation and pest species management in the catchment.
Undoubtedly, this project is a great demonstration of just how much more can be achieved through the collaboration of partners and the help of our super volunteers!
Now we just can’t wait to see what the data will tell us.
Swim little fishies, swim!