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Ascending the Avon: fishes of the Northam Pool, and the Swan-Avon catchment

Morgan, D.L., Beatty, S.J.ORCID: 0000-0003-2620-2826 and Sarre, G.A. (2009) Ascending the Avon: fishes of the Northam Pool, and the Swan-Avon catchment. Murdoch University. Centre for Fish & Fisheries Research, Western Australia.



The fish fauna in the vicinity of the Northam Pool Weir was sampled seasonally between winter 2008 and autumn 2009. The results indicate that the fish community was characterised by species that are halotolerant including two estuarine species, the Western Hardyhead and Swan River Goby that are likely to have undergone large upstream expansions in the Swan‐Avon catchment due to secondary salinisation. However, two freshwater endemic species, the Western Minnow and Nightfish were also recorded in the vicinity of the weir. These, and other freshwater endemic species, have undergone large range reductions in this catchment as a result of salinisation. The study found evidence that the weir may be impeding the upstream movements of native fishes as found elsewhere in south‐western Australia and that construction of a well‐designed fishway would enhance population connectivity and increase their sustainability. It is recommended that additional sampling occurs during the major spawning periods of the freshwater species immediately below the weir to determine precisely when a future fishway would need to operate to allow maximum usage by resident native species. It is also recommended that fresh refuge habitats for freshwater fishes be identified to allow effective management measures to be implemented in those systems to halt their decline and reduce the risk of complete loss of these species from the Swan‐Avon catchment.

Item Type: Report
Murdoch Affiliation: Centre for Fish and Fisheries Research
Publisher: Murdoch University. Centre for Fish & Fisheries Research
Copyright: 2009 Murdoch University. Centre for Fish & Fisheries Research
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