|A new database is bringing together freshwater fish information from a range of sources to help fisheries managers to better understand changes in our local fisheries. The database is an initiative of Fisheries Queensland, in collaboration with the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection’s Queensland Wetlands Program.Fisheries Queensland project manager Dr Zafer Sarac said a vast amount of freshwater fish data was available across Queensland, but it was in different formats held by different groups, and it was difficult to get a clear picture.“The database project has identified the lack of consolidated freshwater fish data, and is working toward closing this gap,” said Dr Sarac.“As part of the three-year project, the project partners have put out a call to other organisations and individuals to contribute their freshwater fish data.
“As at April 2012, data on about 10,000 individual fish entries from the Queensland Murray-Darling Basin had been gathered by Fisheries Queensland, including information on the morphology of the fish, details of the water and the catchment in which they are caught, and the capturing techniques.
“This data is allowing us to build an overall picture of freshwater fish species’ distribution and their abundance in Queensland’s freshwater wetlands.
“At present the freshwater fish database has grown to a staggering 120,000 entries and we hope to collect many more.
“With this information we will be able to assist landholders, environmental managers, fishing groups, scientists and policy makers make more accurate decisions on research, development, management and protection of our freshwater resources.
“The information in the database could contribute to the protection of important fish habitats, help identify areas to target for pest eradication, or recognise areas for future rehabilitation projects.”
The central database will be available for use online in 2013.
To contribute your data to the freshwater fish database or for further information, contact Dr Zafer Sarac on Zafer.Sarac@daff.qld.gov.au.
For more information on freshwater fishing in Queensland, visit www.fisheries.qld.gov.au or call 13 25 23. Fisheries information is also available via Twitter @fisheriesQLD or follow Fisheries Queensland on Facebook.