In recent years, fish ecologists from the Arthur Rylah Inst. for Environmental Research have surveyed native fish in several local streams, including the Hughes Creek and Seven Creeks. Along with discovering what’s in our streams they have also been removing pest species like European Carp (Cyprinus carpio) and Redfin Perch (Perca fluviatilis).
One of the sites they survey is the Seven Creeks below Gooram Falls. This reach of the creek is home to one of the few wild populations of Trout Cod (Maccullochella macquariensis), a close relative of the Murray Cod (Maccullochella peelii). Trout Cod are a protected species in Victorian waters and for additional protection, fishing is prohibited in the Seven Creeks between Polly McQuinn’s Weir and the Galls Gap Rd bridge. This part of the Sevens also supports Macquarie Perch (Macquaria australasica), protected in most Victorian waters, including the streams of the Strathbogie Ranges.
This year, stream-flow was very low and the creek was essentially a few deep pools connected by riffle zones. The importance of the deep pools for local fish became abundantly clear as the survey progressed. Several of the Trout Cod specimens caught (and released!) were very large specimens – probably old and important breeding stock. Though not growing to the size of Murray Cod, Trout Cod are beautiful, impressive fish, and we’re fortunate to have them in our local streams.
In spite of the low flows, the number and diversity of fish present is heartening.
Here are a few pics of the most recent survey, conducted on 4th March 2015.
And remember ..