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Whitsunday Regional Council has recently identified a population of pest fish called Tilapia in Mullers Lagoon, Bowen.
Tilapia is a noxious species which displaces and preys on native fish, and which spreads disease throughout a waterway.
The presence of Tilapia in Mullers Lagoon means pest fish management practices need to be undertaken to restore the Lagoon to a healthy natural habitat.
Mayor Andrew Willcox said today that Council will be taking action to remove the pest fish by draining the Lagoon during a suitable dry season, safely relocating native fish beforehand.
“This action will ensure all fish and eggs are removed from the Lagoon and reduces the risk of reintroducing Tilapia into the waterway,” he said.
“Council will be working with the relevant government authorities to develop a pest management plan moving forward, and we will keep the community updated as the project progresses.”
Council also plans to undertake revegetation work in the area and deepen sections of the Lagoon to create refuge pools for native fish, improving the Lagoon habitat for the future.
Increasing public awareness of the threat caused by Tilapia to native fish species will be an important consideration of the plan, and Council will be engaging with the community to raise awareness of the harm caused by pest species.
Catchment Solutions was engaged to undertake sampling of the Lagoon in December 2016 and provided a report to Council in January 2017.
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