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    09022: Cost-effective hatchery production of native fish for restocking

    New fish ladder at the Pemberton Freshwater Research Centre. Courtesy Department of Fisheries
    New fish ladder at the Pemberton Freshwater Research Centre. Courtesy Department of Fisheries

    Funding from the State NRM Program has allowed the Department of Fisheries to upgrade its native fish hatchery in Pemberton. Improvements included construction of a spawning stream and fish ladder for rare and endangered fish.

    The modifications will quadruple the capacity of the hatchery to produce pygmy perch and open the way to breed three more species of native fish not previously produced artificially, including the critically endangered trout minnow. These fish will be used to restock bodies of water in the Swan, Avon, South West, South Coast and Northern Agricultural NRM regions.

    The upgrade is an important step towards preventing the extinction of critically endangered fish species and maintaining aquatic biodiversity in the south-west of WA.

    Investment: $ 350 000
    Delivery organisation: Department of Fisheries
    Project duration: January 2010 - March 2011
    Location: Pemberton Freshwater Research Centre

    Major project achievements

    • Hatchery infrastructure modified to reduce algal growth, allowing maintenance of additional brood stock and quadrupling production capacity.
    • Artificial stream and fish ladder constructed to enable fish to return to the native fish hatchery for spawning.
    • During a test run on 25 January 2011, more than 50 native minnows migrated up the fish ladder into the hatchery.
    • Installation of the fish ladder provided a unique public education and ecotourism display, showcasing the biology of native fish and the significant role they play in maintaining healthy aquatic ecosystems. A web cam was also installed so the migration of native fish up the ladder can be viewed over the internet.
    • The labour component of producing native fish was reduced with the upgrade, resulting in more cost-effective production of native fish.

    Project partners

    Department of Water

    More information

    Department of Fisheries' Pemberton Trout Hatchery on (08) 9776 1044

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