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Second verified report of this species in the Glenelg in 122 years.

A sensational freshwater fish discovery has fish ecologists, anglers and river managers buzzing.

An example of the nationally threatened Australian grayling fish has been captured and released in the river.

Scientists from DELWP’s Arthur Rylah Institute for Environmental Science found the fish at Dartmoor.

It was found while they were monitoring populations for the Native Fish Report Card.  

The Australian grayling is a migratory species.

It needs free access to a range of freshwater, estuarine and coastal habitats to spawn, grow and colonise new habitats. 

It's an encouraging sign that environmental water flows are improving river conditions for migratory fish, Glenelg Hopkins CMA chief executive Adam Bester said.

“We know that other native fish like estuary perch, tupong and black bream are moving freely between fresh and saltwater areas on the back of improved flows and better habitat connectivity.” 

Long-term research by ARI scientists means we know more about how fish respond to environmental water in Victorian rivers.

Pulses of freshwater through the system help graylings to migrate for spawning and to disperse juvenile fish.

Australian grayling fish were once common in south-east Australian coastal rivers.

Their numbers and range have declined because of:

  • altered river flows
  • construction of barriers to fish movement like dams and weirs, and
  • reduced water quality. 

The Native Fish Report Card program is supported by DELWP and the Victorian Fisheries Authority.    

Reviewed 15 April 2021

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