A five-year Murray Crayfish conservation stocking program commenced in 2017, with 200 Murray Crayfish being moved per year from an area where they are abundant to a site downstream in the Murray River which has suffered a significant decline in the local population.
Murray Crayfish are a native freshwater species endemic to the Murray-Darling Basin. They are the world’s second largest freshwater crayfish, growing to three kilograms in weight and can be easily identified by their large white claws and spiny green and brown abdomens. They were once widespread throughout the Murray and Murrumbidgee catchments however have declined in range and distribution due to a range of environmental factors, including a widespread hypoxic blackwater event which occurred during 2010 and 2011. As a result, Murray Crayfish are now listed as ‘vulnerable’ in NSW.
We’re running this conservation translocation program because Murray Crayfish have very low dispersal abilities and occupy small home-ranges, which means they struggle to recolonise areas where their population has declined
This is the first time a stocking program to boost the population of Murray Crayfish has been conducted in the Murray River in NSW. Over 800 Murray Crayfish have now been translocated with continued monitoring to determine the success of the project.
The translocation project is a collaboration between DPI Fisheries in and Aquasave – Nature Glenelg Trust, supported by the NSW Recreational Fishing Trust and local fishing clubs.
See Murray Crayfish for more information about the species.