Huge catfish population boost across Victoria

FRESHWATER catfish (Tandanus tandanus) populations have received a huge boost through
the translocation of 102 mature catfish from the Glenelg River to four waterways across
northern Victoria.

The initiative was a collaboration between recreational fishers, Traditional Owner groups
and fisheries and catchment management authorities to help recover catfish by re-
establishing more populations of the species.

Recreational fishers from the Casterton Angling Society, including Casterton, Balmoral,
Dartmoor and Merino Angling Clubs angled the 102 catfish from the Glenelg River over the
two-day event on 23-24 March 2024, supported by funding from the Murray-Darling Basin
Authority – Native Fish Recovery Strategy.

Victorian Fisheries Authority (VFA) and Glenelg Hopkins Catchment Management Authority
(CMA) received the catfish and transported them to northern Victoria for release at the
following sites with partners:

* 30 catfish into Lower Broken Creek, Nathalia with Yorta Yorta Nation Aboriginal
Corporation, Parks Victoria and Goulburn Broken CMA
* 30 catfish into Lake Sambell, Shepparton with Indigo Shire, North East CMA, Robbie
* 25 catfish into Little Murray River, Swan Hill with Wamba Wamba Traditional
Owners, Wiran Aboriginal Corporation, VRFish, OzFish Unlimited and North Central
* 17 catfish into Harcourt Park Wetland, Bendigo with Djaara Traditional Owners, North Central CMA and City of Greater Bendigo Council

The initiative builds on the successful trial in November 2023 when 80 catfish were caught
from the Glenelg River, transported and released into the Little Murray River, to rebuild the
population following impacts of blackwater.

Catfish are not endemic to the Glenelg River but given their strong numbers in the system,
confirmed suitable genetics and support from the Glenelg Hopkins CMA and recreational
anglers, they are serving as a useful surrogate population to help rebuild catfish populations
in their natural range within the Murray-Darling Basin.

More catfish translocations are planned later in the year from the Glenelg River and possibly
other surrogate sites. The catfish translocations contribute to the 10 in 10 initiative and VFA
Conservation Hatchery which aims to restock and recover at least 10 threatened species in
10 years.

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