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The Fish People


Lynette Hillier

Today was our first full day with the BushBlitz Scientists and we were assigned to the “The Fish People” otherwise known as the Curator of Fishes, including Glen from the Western Australian Museum and Michael from the Darwin Museum. We began at a site called Plain Creek and Glen and Michael used a technique called Electrofishing which involved sending electricity through the water at a varied voltage, depending on the salinity of the water, between 400-700 volts to shock the fish. All the fish within a 1 m radius were temporarily shocked and Michael could easily scoop them from water. Our aim was to catch and identify as many different species as possible from the site.

Throughout the day we visited 4 different sites and found 7 different species including the Spangled grunter, the Greenways grunter, the Western Rainbow fish, the Bony Bream, freshwater shrimp, freshwater prawns, Cherubins, Falsespine catfish and Hyrtles catfish. The Hyrtles catship possesses 3 poisonous spikes which will sting you if picked up around the spines!

Our last site to be sampled was Dillie Gorge, and they truly saved the best until last! A stunning outlook in which we tried hard to catch the Kimberley Archerfish, a fish only found in a small pocket of the region, we could see several in the water but they weren’t keen to be caught.

We had an absolutely magical day which is only outdone by the amazing stars that fill the sky each night here at Charnley River Station.

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