Biodiversity Assessment Technical Report



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7.6 Data gaps

Fish


The most crucial gaps in fish data from the Central Highlands region lie in the number of areas from which no data are available, and the lack of data on population dynamics and processes. Despite the increase in survey intensity over the past 6 years, many areas still require to be surveyed. In particular, data are not available from the areas listed in Table 7.13.
Table 7.13: Central Highlands areas where data on fish species are unavailable.


Catchment

Area with little or no fish data

Goulburn River

  • Upper Sunday, Strath and King Parrot Creeks and tributaries upstream of Broadford, Strath Creek and Flowerdale respectively




  • Yea and Murrindindi Rivers and tributaries upstream of

Devlin Bridge and Murrindindi respectively







  • Royston River and tributaries upstream of Rubicon




  • Big River system (including Taponga and Torbreck Rivers




  • Acheron River and tributaries upstream of Buxton




  • Rubicon River and tributaries upstream of Rubicon




  • Snobs Creek and tributaries upstream from falls




  • Goulburn River and tributaries upstream from Eildon Lake

(including Black River system)

Thomson River

La Trobe River

  • Tyers River and all accessible tributaries




  • Tanjil River and all accessible tributaries (eg. Icy Creek, Long Creek, Bull Beef Creek, etc.)




  • Upper La Trobe River and all accessible tributaries (eg. Toorongo River, Loch River, Deep Creek, Bernie Creek, Ada River, Pioneer Creek, etc.)




  • Upper Shady and Red Hill Creeks and all accessible tributaries

Bunyip River

  • Tarago River and all accessible tributaries upstream of Tarago Reservoir




Yarra River

  • Upper Diamond, Running and Arthurs Creeks and all accessible tributaries




  • Upper Steele, Paul and Chum Creeks and all accessible tributaries




  • Little Yarra River system and all accessible tributaries




  • Yarra River tributaries upstream of Warburton (eg. Starvation, McMahons and Armstrong Creeks, O’Shannassy River etc.).

Significant data gaps exist on life history and population characteristics for all priority fish species. Much of the current information is derived from incidental observations during other research, rather than formal scientific surveys and research. In particular, the most significant gaps relate to spawning behaviour, including induction cues and location of egg laying sites, both within the catchment and within the stream (Table 7.14). Cues for migration are generally poorly known, particularly for small upland species (Table 7.15), as are larval preferred habitat, and tolerances to turbidity and temperature.


Table 7.14: Summary of the adequacy of spawning data for fish species.


Species Name

Age at spawning

Breeding cues

Egg laying site

Location in catchment

Number of eggs laid

Incubation time of eggs

Geotria australis

no data

no data










no data

Prototroctes maraena

incomplete

incomplete

incomplete










Galaxias cleaveri

no data

no data

no data

no data

no data

no data

Galaxias fuscus

no data




no data




incomplete

no data

Galaxias olidus




no data

incomplete







no data

Galaxias rostratus

no data

no data

no data

no data







Galaxias truttaceus




incomplete













Galaxiella pusilla




no data













Maccullochella peelii







no data

no data







Macquaria ambigua







no data










Macquaria australasica



















Gadopsis marmoratus



















Philypnodon sp. nov.

no data

no data

no data

no data

no data

no data

Notes:. Blank cells have adequate data (a number of consistent observations). Incomplete data means based on only a single incidental observation (i.e. not part of a formal scientific survey or experiment) or there are conflicting data. Based on information in Koehn and O’Connor (1990).

Table 7.15: Summary of adequacy of movement, habitat preference and tolerance (turbidity and temperature) data for fish species.

Species Name

Migratory

Movement trigger

Larvae habitat

Adult habitat

Turbidity tolerance

Temperature tolerance

Geotria australis

+

no data

no data




no data

incomplete

Prototroctes maraena

+

no data

no data




incomplete

incomplete

Galaxias cleaveri

no data

no data

no data




no data

incomplete

Galaxias fuscus







no data




no data

no data

Galaxias olidus













no data




Galaxias rostratus







no data




no data

no data

Galaxias truttaceus

+

no data

no data







no data

Galaxiella pusilla













no data




Maccullochella peelii

+
















Macquaria ambigua

+
















Macquaria australasica

+










incomplete

no data

Gadopsis marmoratus







incomplete




incomplete




Philypnodon sp. nov.

no data

no data

no data

no data

no data

no data

Notes: Blank cells have adequate data (a number of consistent observations). Incomplete data means based on only a single incidental observation (i.e. not part of a formal scientific survey or experiment) or there are conflicting data. Based on information in Koehn and O’Connor (1990).
Few data are available relating priority fish species to particular disturbances. The most significant gap is the lack of data on reactions to increased sedimentation and turbidity from a number of disturbances (Table 7.10). Tolerances to increased turbidity are generally unknown (Table 7.15). For species where egg laying sites are unclear (Table 7.14), the impact of deposited sediment cannot be determined.

Aquatic Macroinvertebrates

There are still considerable gaps in the knowledge of aquatic macroinvertebrates in the Central Highlands. While sampling of most use to the RFA process has occurred at 40 sites in order to produce large scale models of distribution, it is likely that insufficient data are available to construct regional models. More sites would need to be sampled to allow the regional model to be produced (although it is currently not possible to calculate the number of required new sites).


The distribution of the majority of aquatic macroinvertebrates listed under the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988 or on the list of Victorian threatened fauna is not well known.
Taxonomically, the Central Highlands fauna is poorly studied. Only a few groups (decapod crustacea) are well known, while more common groups (eg. mayflies, stoneflies) are only known to the generic level. This severely hampers any attempt to identify species with restricted or rare distributions.
Almost no comprehensive data are available for life histories of aquatic macroinvertebrate taxa. Information has only been gained through casual observations, rather than formal scientific surveys and research, a situation common to many other forested regions.




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