Native fish fauna monitoring
During 2010 and 2011 EMRC received grant funding to conduct fish and macro-invertebrate studies along the Helena River.
Findings of the surveys showed the Pipe Head Dam and Mundaring Weir to be influencing macro-invertebrate community structure through regulation of flow. The structures are also affecting Freshwater mussel Westralunio carteri populations by acting as barriers to gene flow between the lower and upper reaches of the river.
Sites in the main channel of the upper reach of the Helena, above the weir, support the highest diversity and abundance of native fish and crayfish and overall, areas with more large woody debris and snag habitat support the highest abundance and diversity of native species.
The lower and middle reaches of the river were found to have very low dissolved oxygen levels which is of most concern as it causes severe stress in aquatic animals and can lead to the release of heavy metals and other pollutants contained within the sediment.
Future management of the Helena River should aim to control exotic species, maintain dissolved oxygen at safe levels and restore fringing riparian and sedge communities to improve habitat quality for aquatic species.
This report recommended that seasonal water quality sampling should occur to determine if pollutants are responsible for fish and crayfish paucity within the lower and middle reaches of the river.
Below you can download a brochure of Fish in the Helena Catchment and the final report. Please note photos in the Fish of Helena Catchment brochure are by
M. Allen: Western Hardyhead, Freshwater Cobbler:
S. Beatty: Western Pygmy Perch
J. Langdon: Redfin Perch
D. Morgan: Swan River Goby, Western Minnow, Eastern Mosquitofish, Nightfish
G. Schmida: Goldfish
Helping the Helena – water quality monitoring of pollutants for linkages in fish and mussel decline
The EHCMP team has secured a grant from the State Natural Resource Management Office for $37,500 to conduct water quality monitoring along the Helena River for possible linkages between pollutants and fish and mussel decline.
This work carries on from previous surveys conducted on the Helena River and is crucial in determining causes for fish and mussel decline within the lower and middle reaches of the river.
EMRC proposes to undertake seasonal water quality monitoring of pollutants (e.g. pesticides, herbicides, heavy metals, hydrocarbons), sampled on a bi-monthly basis for 12 months to provide a baseline data set.
Completion of the study will alow EHCMP officers to create strategies for the conservation of native species and to make reccomendations for the management of important habitat areas. The findings will also support progress towards creating awareness about habitat requirements of freshwater aquatic species in Perth's Eastern Hills Region.
Saving a keystone species
Corymbia calophylla (marri) is an iconic tree species within Western Australia and supplies numerous ecosystem services and functions. It is an important tree species within the urban, peri-urban and rural landscapes with regards to biodiversity. In the last decade it has been impacted by a fungal pathogen which causes marri canker in the trunks and branches.There is very little understanding of the distribution of the disease, its incidence and severity.
The EHCMP team has received $50,000 in grant funding from the State Natural Resource Management Office for the development of a mobile phone application which will enable information to be shared between users such as; photographic images of the development of canker disease, specific details describing infected trees, GPS locations of trees and their location in relation to infrastructure such as buildings and power lines.
This project is of unique value as it will allow the establishment of trial treatment sites where the effectiveness of treatments can be measured. The application will also aid in community education and raise the profile of marri canker in Perth's Eastern Region.
For further information please contact the administration officer in Environmental Services
Phone: (08) 9424 2216