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An annotated checklist of the fishes of the Swan-Avon River system, Western Australia

Chubb, C.F., Hutchins, J.B., Lenanton, R.C.J. and Potter, I.C. (1979) An annotated checklist of the fishes of the Swan-Avon River system, Western Australia. Records of the Western Australian Museum, 8 (1). pp. 1-55.

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The checklist of the fishes of the Swan-Avon River System in south-western Australia given in this paper is based on the collections and records held by the Western Australian Museum, and on the results of a recent extensive sampling programme carried out with beach seines, trawls and mesh nets. The latter study has also provided data on the distribution of many of the species within the river system. The 110 species recorded are predominantly of marine origin and can be regarded either as marine “stragglers”, or as fish which utilize the estuary predominantly as a nursery area or adult feeding ground, or as an environment that can be exploited at various times during the life cycle. Several of the most abundant species are, however, represented by populations that can pass through the whole of their life cycle within the Swan-Avon River system. Although, as with other south-western Australian rivers, the indigenous freshwater fish component is highly impoverished, its abundance in this system has also suffered from the effects of damming, periods of “drying-up”, eutrophication and run-off from agricultural land. At the same time, some of the changes brought about by damming have produced conditions favourable for the establishment of populations of certain introduced species. Comparisons between the fish fauna of the Swan-Avon River System and the limited data for other Western Australian coastal rivers suggest that Cape Naturaliste represents the approximate southern limit of the distribution of many northern species, while the corresponding point for the northwards extension of several southern species is in the region of the North West Cape.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Environmental and Life Sciences
Publisher: Western Australian Museum
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