Ecosure was engaged by contractors on behalf of The University of Queensland (UQ) to complete the aquatic salvage as part of the redevelopment plans for the 2.2ha man-made lake on the St Lucia campus. The iconic UQ lake and amphitheater is being transformed into a self-sustaining ecosystem that offers habitat for wildlife and more opportunities for people to enjoy the area. Ecosures Environmental Service Team used a combination of methods to catch the inhabitants including one very efficient method that uses electricity to stun fish in shallow water, called electrofishing.
Over 650 native fish, mainly long finned eels, and 250 turtles were relocated within the same catchment to the upper Brisbane River. The team were also able to remove of 2.1 tonnes of invasive pest fish from the lake including tilapia, carp, gambusia and goldfish. The highlight of the project was the successful capture of an illusive Lungfish!
Lungfish are a type of fish that have lungs and breathe air. They are found in freshwater environments and can live for long periods of time out of water. Some species of lungfish can grow to be over 2 metres long and weigh over 50kg. Lungfish are highly vulnerable to extinction due to their slow reproductive rates and low population numbers and are also threatened by habitat loss and degradation, as well as pollution and introduced species.
The salvage was considered an overall success with our team relocating the 1.27m lungfish to the Roma Street Parklands. The lungfish was monitored and showed no signs of distress before swimming off to a deeper part the lake. The species can live to at least 20-25 years of age. In captivity they are known to have lived to over 80 years of age.