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    13105: Movement and abundance of key fishes in the Vasse-Wonnerup Estuary following a substantial fish kill

    Recent fish kills are likely the result of complex environmental factors, however the operation of the Vasse and Wonnerup flood gates may have the potential to reduce the frequency and severity of these kills by enabling passage of fishes into more favourable habitats during times of poor water quality.
    Recent fish kills are likely the result of complex environmental factors, however the operation of the Vasse and Wonnerup flood gates may have the potential to reduce the frequency and severity of these kills by enabling passage of fishes into more favourable habitats during times of poor water quality.

    Large-scale fish-kill events where fish deaths number in their tens of thousands have become a regular occurrence in the Vasse-Wonnerup Estuary.

    Species most affected by the kill in April 2013 were Black bream and Sea mullet. Both are large-bodied and recreationally and ecologically important species, however little is known about their movement patterns or how they will recover from these events.

    This project will investigate the movement patterns of Black bream and Sea mullet into and within the Vasse-Wonnerup Estuary using acoustic tracking. Individual fish will be fitted with acoustic tags and monitored by 20 receivers located throughout the estuary and Vasse River.

    Information gathered will help environmental and fisheries managers to develop strategies aimed at reducing the frequency and severity of fish-kill events.

    Community members will be encouraged to participate in the tagging phase of the project.

    Investment: $ 50 000
    Delivery organisation: Freshwater Fish Group and Fish Health Unit, Estuarine Research Group Murdoch University
    Project duration: January 2014 - December 2015
    Location: Vasse-Wonnerup Estuary and the lower Vasse River
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