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Assessment of the condition of the Swan Canning Estuary in 2013, based on the Fish Community Indices of estuarine condition

Hallett, C.S. (2013) Assessment of the condition of the Swan Canning Estuary in 2013, based on the Fish Community Indices of estuarine condition. Centre for Fish, Fisheries and Aquatic Ecosystems Research, Murdoch University

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Abstract

This report, commissioned by the Swan River Trust, describes the monitoring and evaluation of fish communities in the Swan Canning Riverpark during 2013 and applies the Fish Community Indices that have been developed in recent years as a measure of the ecological condition of the Swan Canning Estuary. These indices, developed for the shallow, nearshore waters of the estuary and also for its deeper, offshore waters, integrate information on various biological variables (metrics), each of which quantifies an aspect of the structure and/or function of estuarine fish communities and responds to a range of stressors affecting the ecosystem.

Fish communities were sampled using different nets at six nearshore and six offshore sites in each of four zones of the estuary during summer and autumn 2013, with as many fish as possible returned to the water alive following their identification. The resulting data on the abundances of each fish species from each sample were used to calculate a fish community index score (0-100). These index scores were then compared to scoring thresholds to determine ecological condition grades (A-E) for each zone and for the estuary as a whole, based on the fish community.

Publication Type: Report
Murdoch Affiliation: Centre for Fish and Fisheries Research
Publisher: Centre for Fish, Fisheries and Aquatic Ecosystems Research, Murdoch University
Notes: "July 2013"
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/18925
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