Freshwater fish of the Canning and Wungong Rivers.

Native fish are not normally something that people associate with the Hills, but along the Canning River Valley, there are actually four species of native fish that do not live anywhere outside of the south west of WA and permanently inhabit the waterway.

The native fish that can be found locally are:

roleyf1 Freshwater cobbler (Tandanus bostocki ) - NATIVE & ENDEMIC. (40cm max).
Prefers slow flowing streams, pools, ponds, and reservoirs.
It eats insect larvae, freshwater shrimp, crayfish, molluscs, and small fish.





    roleyf2      Western Pygmy Perch (Edelia vittata) - NATIVE & ENDEMIC (7cm max.)
Often associated with riparian/emergent vegetation and rarely occurs in open water.
It eats water living invertebrates (eg. dipetan larvae, ostracods, copepods, and caddis fly larvae) and terrestrial insects    





roleyf4  Western Minnow (Galaxias occidentalis) - NATIVE & ENDEMIC. (19cm max.)
Often found at the base of waterfalls, where the water is fast flowing and well oxygenated.
Eats terrestrial insects, larvae, microcrustacea, and freshwater shrimp






roleyf5 Mosquito Fish (Gambusia holbrooki) - INTRODUCED & INVASIVE SPECIES (5cm max).
This is unfortunately the most common fish in our rivers and was introduced from the Gulf of Mexico for mosquito control.
It not only competes with the native species for food and is responsible for the loss of some frog species, but it eats less mosquito larvae than the native fish!





In addition to the native fish, there are two or three non-native fish pests that have been introduced deliberately and compete with the native fish for food. These are...



Carp (Goldfish) (Crassius auratus) - INTRODUCED & INVASIVE SPECIES (max size 40cm).
This aquarium escape has caused terrible damage to the waterways in the eastern states where it changes the habitat and has caused native fish numbers to decrease dramatically and even causing the local extinction of native species.

The gold fish usually turn bronze in our natural waters.





If you do see these fish in our waters, report it to the Department of Fisheries so they can track the problem.
Email:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or phone: 1800 815 507 or 9482 7333 


The most important thing to do is not release carp or goldfish into any waterway.
Make sure that ornamental ponds, which are popular for stocking with ‘koi' carp and goldfish, are secured so that floods or rains do not cause the ponds to overflow, allowing the fish to escape.

You should not stock carp or goldfish into dams which overflow in winter.






In addition to these freshwater fish, there are three species of native estuarine fish that can tolerate salt water. They may travel far upstream into the fresh water, but are unlikely to make it as far as the Hills. These are the Swan River Goby, Big Headed Goby, and Swan River Hardyhead. 

Much of this information has come from a report entitled "Fish and Fish Habitat Survey of the Canning River and its Tributaries" by A.W. Storey for the Upper Canning/Southern-Wungong Catchment Management Team (1998)

For further reading, check out these links:

Native Freshwater Fish, Department of Fisheries:
Introduced Fish to WA, Department of Fisheries:

Photos courtesy of Roleystone resident Mark Allen and Dr. David Morgan of Murdoch University . Full colour prints are for sale via Mark by contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.