Monday, 05 February 2024

Safe scheduled removal of invasive fish species

The City of Subiaco is working with the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) and SLR Consulting (previously Wetland Research Management) to improve the health of the lakes at Lake Jualbup and Mabel Talbot.

Controlled removal of invasive carp (Cyprinus carpio) and goldfish (Carassius auratus) is required as the species prey on native fish, impact waterways by causing algal bloom, and have the potential to spread to other waterways if not managed. Similar controlled removal was recently undertaken at Subiaco Common.

Removal of the species will allow the lakes to return to a more natural state, and for them to be restocked with natural species once the invasive species have been safely and completely eradicated.

The removal is expected to take place between Tuesday 13 and Wednesday 14 February 2024. If rain, algae, or botulism is present, the works may be delayed, but will take place before Thursday 29 February 2024.

The removal will include electrofishing, which will be carried out under DPIRD’s permit for invasive fish management purposes. Electrofishing involves generating a field of electricity in the water to allow for collection of fish within a close proximity.

Mayor David McMullen said it was important people were aware of the threats these invasive species can pose in both lakes.

“The lakes at Mabel Talbot and Lake Jualbup are incredibly important not only to our community as places for recreation, but to our native wildlife,” he said.

“These invasive fish species are harmful to surrounding wildlife, and safely removing them will ensure we can continue to improve the health of the ecosystems at both lakes.”

You can find more information on both invasive fish species on the DPIRD website.

Management activities will be carefully and continually managed and monitored to completion by both the City and the DPIRD.

Is this process safe for humans?
Electrofishing is perfectly safe when appropriate protocols are followed. These include the use of dip nets made from non-conductive materials, linesmans gloves, life jackets, and rubber-soled shoes. Additionally, a system of pedals ensures that the electrical circuit is only completed, and a field created, when all staff are ready and operating the pedals of the boat electrofishing unit.
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