Captive bred jungle perch released into wild

JUST under 1000 captive reared jungle perch have been released into the wild as part of a Queensland Government project to restore jungle perch populations within their natural areas.

Research leader Dr Michael Hutchison said the release of the fingerlings into the wild was a world first.

“The jungle perch fingerlings were released into a Gold Coast Hinterland stream where they had once been endemic,” Dr Hutchison said.

“The stream was selected because it has ideal habitat for jungle perch and no major barriers to impede the jungle perch spawning migration.

“Prior to release, the jungle perch fingerlings were conditioned to recognise predators that occur in the release site.

“They were also conditioned to take invertebrate (insect and crustacean) foods similar to those they would encounter in the wild.

“This should enhance their capacity to survive.

“We hope this is the first step towards jungle perch forming self-sustaining populations in the stream system.

“All the stocked fish have been micro-tagged so the researchers can monitor their progress over the coming months.” Follow up surveys already indicate the stocked fingerlings are doing well, growing and dispersing through the stream system.

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Newly released jungle perch fingerlings Image: Fisheries QLD

Dr Hutchison said that the Gold Coast release was the first of several planned experimental releases with future releases to be at the Sunshine Coast and the Mackay-Whitsunday Region.

“Jungle perch are a popular angling species and used to occur more widely in south-eastern Queensland and the Mackay-Whitsunday region,” he said.

The jungle perch research project focuses on the potential for recovery of declining jungle perch populations in the wild.

The jungle perch project team are also preparing a jungle perch production manual with links to audio-visual material to help transfer the jungle perch production methods to private hatcheries.

The project is supported by the Australian Government Fisheries Research and Development Corporation. Project partners are James Cook University and the Freshwater Fishing and Stocking Association of Queensland.


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