A series of acoustic telemetry receivers have now been deployed in a 20km stretch of the Upper Murrumbidgee River, centred around Bush Heritage Australia’s Scottsdale Reserve. This hi-tech fish monitoring equipment will be used to track both carp and native fish to provide important (and currently unknown) information on fish movement in the Murrumbidgee River. It's a collaborative project between Bush Heritage Australia, the Upper Murrumbidgee Demonstration Reach, NSW DPI, the Capital Region Fishing Alliance, the NSW Recreational Fishing Trust and Prue McGuffie’s PhD Macquarie perch project.
How it works
The receivers pick-up and record acoustic signals emitted from fish fitted with electronic, signal-emitting tags as they move up and down the Upper Murrumbidgee River system. Over time this will provide insights into patterns of fish movements within the receiver area, which happens to include a four meter waterfall!
The findings of the movement study will be used to guide the ongoing implementation of Scottsdale Reserve’s carp management program, which aims to remove carp from the Upper Murrumbidgee River in order to benefit the threatened fish species (such as Murray Cod and Trout Cod) that are found there.
Knowing how carp move and interact with other species will help us to pin-point the best times and areas for removal of carp from the system.
Not only will this help to make the Scottsdale Reserve program more targeted and effective, but it's also a demonstration of how science can be used to support reserve management and vice-versa.
The receiver ‘array’ was put in thanks to the help two Bush Heritage Australia volunteers (who each put in a long day of paddling) and a local river guide who adapted his raft especially to carry the receiver equipment, which included up to six lengths of railway iron needed to anchor down the receivers in stream.
As the waterfall photo shows, negotiating the river with such a load is no mean feat, but all involved certainly stepped up to the challenge!