Fitzroy River fieldwork underway

28 November 2017

Researchers from two Northern Hub projects joined Nyikina Mangala Traditional Owners, Yimardoo Warra Rangers and staff from the WA Department of Water and Environmental Regulation on the banks of the Fitzroy River in late October. One team surveyed pools and adjacent shallow ‘run’ habitats, describing water quality, fish assemblages and food webs for a project describing flow-ecology relationships led by Michael Douglas (UWA). They also found the small-eyed sleeper, Prionobutis microps, which is the first time this fish species has been formally collected from the Fitzroy River. A second team working on this project visited pools with Traditional Owners to discuss important riparian zone plants, and also surveyed plant assemblages at sites along the river, taking measurements to determine plant water sources. Meanwhile, Traditional Owners described the relationship between their seasonal calendar and the hydrology of the Fitzroy River for a second project identifying Indigenous water needs, led by Sue Jackson (GU). Daytime temperatures in the 40s made the work challenging but good company, an abundance of wildlife and spectacular scenery made up for the heat.

Fitzroy River

Yeerra Pool on Nyikina-Mangala land (Fitzroy River), photo Michael Douglas.

Fitzroy River

Nyikina Mangala Rangers collect fish in the pools and shallow run habitats of the lower Fitzroy River, photo Leah Beesley.

 

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