Shared from the 4/2/2019 Mornington Peninsula eEdition

‘Predator’ found in creek

Concern for Tanti after discovery of ‘aggressive’ Eastern gambusia


Tanti Creek Friends co-ordinator Marty Lenard is concerned after Eastern gambusia (inset) was found in the creek. Picture: NORM OORLOFF

A FERAL fish species has been found in Mornington’s Tanti Creek for the first time.

Tanti Creek Friends co-ordinator Marty Lenard said a survey of the creek had detected the Eastern gambusia.

“Gambusia was introduced to Australia in 1925 to control mosquitoes,” he said.

“But they are aggressive predators, prolific breeders and have a high tolerance for poor water quality.

“There are minimal effective control options — the best approach is to ensure a healthy creek habitat so native fish can be more resilient against the impacts of gambusia.”

Mr Lenard said the survey also found no loss any of the previously recorded species.

“It concluded anecdotal evidence of diminishing fish populations is most likely due to limited ‘invitation’ flows of water during past couple of spring migratory periods,” he said.

Mr Lenard said the headwaters of the creek couldn’t be sampled due to contamination.

“The pollution was coming from a stormwater pipe that drains water from the light industrial/commercial area between Watts Rd and the Mornington-Tyabb Rd,” he said.

The survey was funded by Australian Unity’s Healthcare Property Trust with support from Ramsay Healthcare and Mornington Peninsula Shire Council.

It followed concerns that urbanisation in the area had increased flows from stormwater drains leading to erosion of the creek banks.

Melbourne Water’s regional services manager John Woodland said the body worked with the friends group and Mornington Peninsula Shire Council to manage the health of Tanti Creek.

‘We carry out regular maintenance along Tanti Creek every two months to remove litter and debris and undertake weed management to protect vegetation,” he said.

To get involved with Tanti Creek Friends group, phone 0427 888 712.

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