NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) is asking the community to help find two critically endangered inland freshwater fish not seen in NSW for many years.
Murray Hardyhead and Flathead Galaxias were once widespread in the slow-flowing lowland streams and wetlands of the Murray-Darling Basin, however both species have suffered significant declines in their distribution and abundance in recent years, and feared extinct in their natural habitats NSW. NSW DPI suspects some of these fish may still be held in farm dams, irrigation channels, ponds or even tanks in inland NSW.
To help determine if Murray Hardyhead and Flathead Galaxias are still persisting in NSW, the local community is being asked to help NSW DPI by reporting any sightings. There are prizes available, including a day's guided fishing trip on the Murray River region for members of the community who help locate either of these two small threatened Australian inland fish.
To win a prize, people who think they have found either fish species just need to snap a clear, close-up photo of a live fish and lodge their sighting on NSW DPI's on-line reporting form. Experts will check to verify the report to confirm that it is one of the threatened species.
NSW DPI reminds everyone that it is an offense to catch and keep, possess, harm, sell or buy any threatened species. However photographs may be taken at the immediate location where the fish is landed provided a device to photograph the fish is immediately available, DPI catch and release (best practice) guidelines are adhered to and the fish is returned to its natural environment with the least possible injury as quickly as possible after photographs have been taken.