A breath of fresh air
THE benefits of providing artificial oxygenation to fish in the Swan Canning Riverpark will be tested as part of a new black bream tagging project.
River systems manager Mark Cugley said while monitoring had shown that providing oxygenation improved river water quality, the study would show if fish were taking advantage of these conditions during periods of oxygen stress.
“Artificial oxygenation has been successfully used in the Upper Swan estuary since trials began in 2006 to help process nutrients and improve aquatic habitat,” he said.
“This black bream tagging project will provide valuable data to inform management of the oxygenation plants and maximise the benefit to fish and other aquatic organisms.”
The project, which is being held by the Department of Parks and Wildlife in partnership with researchers from Murdoch University, will track the movement of 55 black bream implanted with acoustic tags.
Staff and students from Murdoch University’s Centre for Fish and Fisheries Research will also investigate the metabolic response of black bream to a range of dissolved oxygen concentrations and temperatures in the laboratory to help establish how these factors may influence the movements of black bream in the estuary.
Mr Cugley said the study, which has received additional funding from Recfishwest, would also identify important habitats for black bream, the most important recreational fish species in the Swan and Canning rivers.
Recreational fishers who catch a tagged black bream are asked to return the fish to the water and to contact researchers with any information from the tag.
Tagged black bream can be identified by a small yellow plastic tag beneath their dorsal fin.