Wetlands AustraliaNational Wetlands Update September 2012
Issue No. 21, September 2012
Freshwater fish database
Queensland Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry and Queensland Wetlands Program
A goby at Elizabeth Springs, approximately 300
kilometres south-east of Mount Isa.
Funding through the Queensland Wetlands Program is allowing Fisheries Queensland (part of the Queensland Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry) to consolidate their freshwater fish data in a central database for use in online information tools available on WetlandInfo .
The comprehensive freshwater fish database will streamline and improve the ongoing management of fish data, ultimately resulting in better evidence-based decision making on ecosystem management.
Fisheries Queensland manages Queensland's fish habitats and fisheries resources to ensure their sustainable, economic use. The agency regularly collects fish-related data from both marine and freshwater habitats. Additionally, the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection, natural resource management groups and consultants have been collecting freshwater fish data for a variety of purposes.
Although much of the freshwater fish data is available across Queensland, currently it is hard to consolidate for specific management purposes because of the different sources, places of storage and the wide range of media and formats. The database project has identified the lack of consolidated freshwater fish data across state government and is working toward closing this gap.
As part of the three-year project, the project partners have put out a call to other organisations and individuals asking them to contribute their freshwater fish data. At April 2012, data on about 10 000 individual fish entries from the Queensland Murray-Darling Basin had been gathered by Fisheries Queensland.
The data includes information on the morphology of the fish, details of the water and the catchment in which they were caught, and the capturing techniques. At present, the freshwater fish database has grown to over 120 000 entries.
Information on freshwater fish species distribution and abundance in Queensland's freshwater wetlands will assist stakeholders in making better informed decisions on research, development, management and protection of freshwater resources.
This information could contribute to the protection of important fish habitats, help identify areas to target for pest eradication, and/or recognise areas for future rehabilitation projects.