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Assessment of the condition of the Swan-Canning Estuary in 2015, based on the Fish Community Indices of estuarine condition. Final report to the Department of Parks and Wildlife

Hallett, C.S. and Tweedley, J.R. (2015) Assessment of the condition of the Swan-Canning Estuary in 2015, based on the Fish Community Indices of estuarine condition. Final report to the Department of Parks and Wildlife. Murdoch University

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Abstract

This report, commissioned by the Department of Parks and Wildlife, describes the monitoring and evaluation of fish communities in the Swan Canning Riverpark during 2015 and applies the Fish Community Indices (FCI) 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 management zones of the estuary (Lower Swan Canning Estuary, LSCE; Canning Estuary, CE; Middle Swan Estuary, MSE; Upper Swan Estuary, USE) during summer and autumn of 2015. As many fish as possible were returned to the water alive after they had been identified and counted. 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 established scoring thresholds to determine ecological condition grades (A-E) for each zone and for the estuary as a whole, based on the composition of the fish community.

Publication Type: Report
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Veterinary and Life Sciences
Publisher: Murdoch University
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/27495
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