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A review of the flow and flow-related habitat requirements of Tasmanian native and introduced freshwater fish

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Davies, PE (2005) A review of the flow and flow-related habitat requirements of Tasmanian native and introduced freshwater fish. Technical Report. Freshwater Systems, Hobart.

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Abstract

This review describes what is known about the flow-related habitat requirements of Tasmanian native fish, as they relate to movement and migration, spawning, rearing and feeding. Brown trout are also included in this review, due to their widespread distribution and frequent dominance of Tasmanian stream fish assemblages. The Tasmanian stream fish fauna is comprised of some 28 species, the majority of which are migratory (diadromous, mainly catadromous), requiring free movement within the stream drainage network and access either to an estuary, the coast or a lake. Population densities of most species decline upstream from the sea, with brown trout, eels and, occasionally Galaxias brevipinnis, being dominant in middle to upper elevation drainage reaches (Davies 1989). This is a pattern also observed elsewhere in south-eastern Australia and New Zealand (Gehrke and Harris 2000, McDowall and Taylor 2000, Joy and Death 2004). Despite the high level of activity in the area of environmental flow management, information on flow requirements for south east Australian freshwater fish species is remarkably limited. The pool of Australian information in this area is very small, and sources from New Zealand and occasionally overseas are drawn on. In addition, requirements for habitat and flow characteristics cannot be readily separated. This review therefore identifies key aspects of habitat requirements as they relate to flow, both directly and indirectly, but does not attempt a full description of each species� ecological requirements. Habitat use by freshwater fish varies considerably between species. There are close relationships between the physical habitat used by fish and flow, both directly in terms of the relationship between the energetics of swimming and feeding and hydraulics, and indirectly by determining the distribution and composition of stream substrate, food resources, cover etc. This review briefly describes general aspects of fish and flow relationships, and then identifies what is known about habitat and flow requirements of Tasmanian riverine freshwater fish species. The Gobies, predominantly brackish water or estuarine species, are not discussed.

Item Type: Report (Technical Report)
Keywords: Tasmania, native fish, introduced fish, freshwater
Publisher: Freshwater Systems
Date Deposited: 17 Nov 2006
Last Modified: 18 Nov 2014 03:12
URI: http://eprints.utas.edu.au/id/eprint/417
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