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In Search of Perch - Fleurieu Peninsula, SA

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  • In Search of Perch - Fleurieu Peninsula, SA

    Good afternoon guys. Figured this fits in this "Field Trips" section of the forum so here goes.

    While this was not a collecting mission, I was keen to get out with the dip net and see if I could track down the elusive (in my region at least) Nannoperca australis (Southern Pygmy Perch). I've read enough local fish surveys and related articles to know roughly where I would find these guys, but actually getting to some of the locations is a bit of hard work.

    I arrived at my target location (sorry to anyone interested, but I won't name drop the spot, in the interests of it not being plundered) to be faced with a head high wall of Blackberry bushes and sticky weed. Was beginning to question why I do this to myself at this point but forged a path through regardless and was faced with a mess of willows and swamp.

    IMG_20201026_130846 by stuart mitten, on Flickr

    IMG_20201026_131303 by stuart mitten, on Flickr

    After a little wandering I found the main channel through the swamp which to my surpise contained some pools that would have been close to a metre deep. The water was heavily tannin stained with a fine mud substrate (which felt amazing running into the top of my gum boot after misjudging a step). The only vegetation in the water itself that I could see was floating/trailing mats of what I think was Callitriche stagnalis

    IMG_20201026_131310 by stuart mitten, on Flickr

    IMG_20201026_131315 by stuart mitten, on Flickr

    Got into the swing of things with net and after a quick swipe under a slightly undercut clump of grass on the edge of the water, I came up with my target species.

    IMG_20201026_131444 by stuart mitten, on Flickr

    Such a small fish, but I was pretty stoked to have finally found one. Been looking for these guys on and off for probably close to a year now. Tried a few more pools I came across in the swamp and turned up plenty more, aswell as a small number of Galaxias. Not sure if these guys are G. maculata or G. olidus. I'm leaning towards the latter as they are a slightly shorter wheelbase than what I would expect for the former with the same build.

    IMG_20201026_131639_1 by stuart mitten, on Flickr

    IMG_20201026_132115 by stuart mitten, on Flickr

    IMG_20201026_132556 by stuart mitten, on Flickr

    IMG_20201026_133338 by stuart mitten, on Flickr

    IMG_20201026_133459 by stuart mitten, on Flickr

    What was great to see was that I came across probably at least 4 different sizes of the little guys, indicating repeated, successful breeding events. Which is a good thing for these fish in this region

    IMG_20201026_133445 by stuart mitten, on Flickr

    IMG_20201026_133656 by stuart mitten, on Flickr

    IMG_20201026_134238 by stuart mitten, on Flickr

    All these fish were quickly and safely released after a photo.




    Hoping to get out semi regularly in the creeks around Adelaide and the Fleurieu Peninsula, still got a few more fish I'd like to tick of my list of having found (M. fluviatilis and Hypseleotris klunzingeri spring to mind), and few others I'd like to find outside of places I've already found them (P. grandiceps, P. urvillii, G. brevipinnis, P. macrostomus). If anyone would like to see future trips documented let me know, I'm always taking a stack of photos regardless!

  • #2
    It sounds like a fun outing. I thought there was a snake in the first picture at first. Hope these natural places survive overdevelopment in the future.

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