Barramundi Tag and Release Day makes a splash in the Burdekin

NQ Dry Tropics teamed up with Lower Burdekin Landcare Association (LBLCA) and Burdekin Fish Restocking Association (BFRA) to deliver an educational event in Brandon, focused on how native vegetation along creek banks provides crucial fish habitat.

The recent Barramundi Tag and Release Day, held at Sheepstation Creek, attracted 55 participants – including members of the the Bowen and Ayr Green Army – and was supported through funding from the Australian Government National Landcare Programme.

NQ Dry Tropics’ Scott Fry, who runs a project that revegetates creek banks in the Lower Burdekin, explained that trees along creeks, commonly known as riparian vegetation, provide habitat structure for native fish both above and below the water surface.

“We collect the majority of native fish where riparian vegetation is intact along the creek“, he said.

“During a recent creek survey, fish were only present where we had planted trees two years previously. This was a good outcome because the landholder now wants to extend the planting to create more habitat”, he said.

BFRA’s Allan Griggs, who led the Barramundi release on the day, spoke about how planting native trees can prevent para grass, which can inhibit fish from moving freely in the water.

TropWATER, James Cook University’s Centre for Tropical Water & Aquatic Ecosystem Research, also demonstrated their electrofishing method, which uses electricity to stun fish before they are caught.

Electrofishing is a common scientific survey method used to sample fish populations to determine abundance, density, and species composition.

The successful event was another example of NQ Dry Tropics partnering with local landcare and industry groups, to deliver educational events that support the community to sustainably manage our beautiful natural environment.