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Golden perch (Macquaria ambigua) in refuge waterholes in ephemeral rivers: the effect of town proximity on biomass and size structure

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Nixon, D., Hutchison, M. and Norris, A. (2022) Golden perch (Macquaria ambigua) in refuge waterholes in ephemeral rivers: the effect of town proximity on biomass and size structure. Marine and Freshwater Research .

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Article Link(s): https://doi.org/10.1071/MF22074

Publisher URL: https://www.publish.csiro.au/paper/MF22074

Abstract

Context: Intermittent rivers make up more than 50% of the world’s rivers. Refuge waterholes in these systems are critical for survival of fish populations.Aim: This study investigated the effect that angling pressure imparts on native fish within refuge waterholes.Methods: Golden perch (Macquaria ambigua) size structure was analysed in eight refuge waterholes across three catchments of the northern Murray–Darling Basin. Waterhole characteristics were recorded, with town proximity or remoteness being adopted as a surrogate variable for angling pressure.Key results: Remoteness was found to be significantly correlated with median length, biomass, and proportion of legal-sized fish, but not with fish density. Sampling occurred after widespread connective flows, and the strength of remoteness as a predictor of median length suggests that redistribution of legal-sized golden perch on these flows was minimal. Legal-sized fish were poorly represented in the length–frequency distributions of near-town waterholes, and smaller size classes were well represented in most waterholes.Conclusion: This study suggests that populations of golden perch in refuge waterholes near towns face significant angling pressure, with impacts on size structure at a local level.Implications: These findings may have wider implications for the long-term resilience of the species.

Item Type:Article
Business groups:Animal Science
Keywords:Keywords: angling pressure, biomass, density, drought refuge waterhole, golden perch, intermittent river, Macquaria ambigua, mark–recapture, Murray–Darling Basin.
Subjects:Aquaculture and Fisheries > Fisheries > Fishery conservation
Aquaculture and Fisheries > Fisheries > Fishery research
Aquaculture and Fisheries > Fisheries > Fishery for individual species
Deposited On:23 Nov 2022 06:09
Last Modified:23 Nov 2022 06:09

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