Murray crays get a hand to move home

Two hundred Murray crayfish have recently been translocated to a new part of the Murray River.

NSW DPI has begun a stocking program to help boost the Murray crayfish population in the Murray River. Recently, 200 Murray crayfish (including adult females with eggs) were moved from an area where they are abundant to a site downstream in the Murray River which has suffered a significant decline in the local population.

Murray crayfish were once widespread throughout the Murray and Murrumbidgee catchments but have declined in range and are now listed as vulnerable in NSW. A range of environmental factors have reduced the abundance of the species in recent decades, however a widespread hypoxic blackwater event which occurred during 2010 and 2011 saw Murray crayfish decline further.

DPI has started translocating Murray crayfish as they have low dispersal rates and a small home range, which means it would take them a lot longer to recolonise the affected areas downstream if they weren’t given a helping a helping hand. Another 200 crayfish will be released to the site next year and there will be continued monitoring to determine the success of the project. The project is being run by DPI in collaboration with Aquasave – Nature Glenelg Trust, the NSW Recreational Fishing Trust and local fishing clubs.

Remember that Murray Crayfish must not be taken from any waters in NSW other than during the open season in prescribed waters of the Murray and Murrumbidgee Rivers.

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