Establishing a refuge population of threatened Southern Pygmy Perch

Funding Source: Australian Government – Communities Environment Program

Timeline: December 2019 – June 2021

Funding received: $13 000 (GST exc.)


Project Description

Fosters Lake is located just north of the town centre of Glenrowan. It is a popular picnic area with travellers and locals. It was named after the stationmaster at Glenrowan, who had the lake built to water the transported cattle. In the past the lake has been stocked with various recreational fish including rainbow trout.

Southern Pygmy Perch is a small bodied native fish which grows to 85mm long that is listed as threatened in Victoria. We have been working with the Arthur Rylah Institute to protect these fish over the past two years by using private farm dams as refuge sites. Establishing refuge sites in farm dams helps to protect existing populations and allows us to establish separate breeding populations. You can read more about these little fish and our Southern Pygmy Perch in Farm Dams program.

This project will assist the Southern Pygmy Perch by establishing an additional refuge populations in Fosters Lake. A refuge population is simply a back up populations should anything happen to wild source populations.

This project will focus on the onground activities that protect and enhance the natural environment to support the recovery of this species. This will include revegetation of aquatic vegetation and placement of instream timber. Fish will be translocated from existing refuge populations in five farm dams in our Landcare group area, to Fosters Lake in Glenrowan.

Works at the lake will include:

  • Earthworks in the lake to deepen areas that have become overgrown with Typha (Cumbungi)
  • Revegetation of the surrounding bush land area with small to medium height shrubs to increase habitat diversity, focusing on those species that are rare in the landscape
  • Introduction of a greater diversity of aquatic habitat, targeting floating species to complement the good diversity of emergent vegetation already present and the use of timber
  • Design and install suitable signage to highlight the promotion of the preservation of this species in the Murray Darling Basin, their remaining distribution and the aim of our farm dam project
  • Possible improvements to the fencing to ensure pedestrian access only to the lake.

We will work with the Glenrowan Improvers Association, the Arthur Rylah Institute, Wangaratta Sustainability Network and the North East Catchment Management Authority to deliver this project.

For further information, please get in touch with Sally Day (Project Officer) on 0437 136 162.