Season 2 Episode 4: Fisheries Ecologist David Moffatt on Fish Surveys to Assess Waterway Health

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Fish populations (both native and exotic) are a good indicator of the health of waterways. The Wet Tropics Report Card includes a fish index as part of our annual assessment of Wet Tropics Waterways but until recently this was one of the areas where no data was available. 

However, the Queensland Government's Department of Environment and Science (DES) has been conducting fish surveys and the data collected from these will now be included in the Report Card, giving an even more comprehensive picture of the health of our waterways.  

Recently we caught up with David Moffat, one of DES's Fisheries Ecologists, as he was conducting electrofishing surveys in the Mossman River. We talked to him about the importance of fish surveys and his observations about changes in our rivers. 


Podcast Timestamps

00:46 A quick overview of what David has been doing in our region

01:22 The importance of conducting fish surveys

02:11 How fish can indicate the health of a river system

02:52 How to collect fish for research purposes

04:12 How do our river systems differ to other regions

04:45 Touching on the interesting species found

06:17 The reasons for discovering these new species

06:48 The spread of exotic species

07:42 The effects of exotic species on our native fish 

08:46 Other threats to our native fish

10:00 The negative impacts of moving native species

12:10 Other uses for the data being collected

Contacts, Links & Resources

More details on the 2019 Wet Tropics Report Card


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