Redfin Fishing Competition

Going fishing to conserve the endangered Southern Pygmy Perch

Redfin Fishing Competition

Going fishing to conserve the endangered Southern Pygmy Perch

Community Participation -

LEP23 - 014_LLC05_1

The issue

Gunning District Landcare’s involvement in conserving the endangered Southern Pygmy Perch dates back to 2015, when two teenage girls from Dalton discovered some individuals in Oolong Creek. One of the main threats to the Perch is predation by non-native species, particularly the Redfin perch. Redfins are a popular sport fish, and have been introduced into new areas, often by people who have mistaken them for native fish. Gunning District Landcare identified the urgent need to educate our community and anglers on the impacts of these non-native fish species, and their obligations under biosecurity legislation when handling these invasive fish species.

The solution

To raise awareness about the plight of the Southern Pygmy Perch and the impact of the Redfin Perch and other invasive fish species, Gunning District Landcare held a Redfin Fishing Competition for local children in November 2023. The event was part of Gone Fishing Day, an initiative by the Department of Primary Industries and Recreational Fishing Trust. The funding provided refreshments, services of a lifesaver, and the donation of 30 fishing rods to local children without fishing equipment. It was a terrific show of community support with over 60 people fishing along the banks of Meadow Creek in Gunning.

The impact

Although only a few fish were caught, the day proved to be a winning combination of a fun, family-friendly activity and environmental education activity. Fish scientist and Southern Pygmy Perch aficionado Dr. Mark Lintermans provided background on the plight of the native fish and the significant impact fish species like Redfin and Carp have on their survival. With help from the funding provided and support from the Gunning Scouts, Gunning District Landcare empowered our community to look after our waterways and the endangered fish that call them home. 

Key facts

  • The endangered Southern Pygmy Perch was discovered in Oolong Creek in Dalton in 2015.
  • An Action Plan commissioned by Gunning District Landcare in 2017 identified predation from invasive fish species like Redfin Perch as a major threat to the Southern Pygmy Perch.
  • Funding through the 2023 Gone Fishing Day was used to host a Redfin Fishing competition for children in the Gunning community.
  • The family-friendly activity educated the community on the impacts of invasive fish species on endangered fish species in our local creeks.

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