Yellowbelly completes marathon 2000km migration

inline_461_ Perch Macquaria ambiguaPhoto by Scott Raymond_F27D8DC0-1800-11E6-8F46020ED517F827.jpg
Image: Scott Raymond (courtesy of DELWP Victoria)

A GOLDEN Perch (Macquaria ambigua) has completed a marathon migration along the Murray River with a 1923 kilometre long swim that took it six years.

Scientist from the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning’s (DELWP) Arthur Rylah Institute (ARI), Jarod Lyon said the fish was re-captured during fish monitoring work in the Goulburn River last week, after originally being tagged below Lock 3 in the Murray River, near Overland Corner (west of Renmark in South Australia), in October 2010.

“Our monitoring has detected this fish several times throughout its journey including visits to Yarrawonga and Lock 6 near the South Australian border. Those detections have shown that nearly 1500 kilometres of the marathon swim took place in just seven months,” Lyon said.

“We know these fish move about quite a lot to spawn and in response to changing conditions in the river but this is a significant distance for this species to cover. The biggest recorded movement we’ve had for a Golden Perch is about 2000km so this fish is approaching that record.,” Lyon said.

The fish also managed to grow by 10 centimetres during its marathon swim; it was 36 cm when it was tagged and is now more than 46cm in length.

The surveys were conducted as part of a DELWP program looking at management of fish habitat in Victoria.

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