Poster Presentation Australian Society for Limnology Congress 2013

Cryptic Crays: Monitoring Murray River Crayfish in the ACT (#204)

Katie Ryan 1 , Mark Jekabsons 1 , Matthew Beitzel 1 , Lisa Evans 1
  1. Conservation Research, ACT Government, CANBERRA, ACT, Australia

Murray River crayfish, the largest and most widely distributed of all species from the genus Euastacus, are listed as vulnerable in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT). An initial survey of this species in 1988 revealed that despite evidence of distribution throughout the length of the Murrumbidgee River within the ACT, catch rates were patchy and low in comparison with other parts of their range. In response to these findings, the ACT Government banned fishing of Murray River crayfish in 1993 and put in place a monitoring program. Twenty five years after the initial survey and 20 years following the closure of the fishery, a review of the monitoring program has revealed that they are still at risk. Additionally, it appears that modification to the monitoring program may be necessary to achieve additional insight into Murray River crayfish populations in the ACT. This poster will outline results of the review of monitoring from 1988-2013, discuss the results of trialling Munyana nets as a new method for monitoring, and provide recommendations for future monitoring of Murray River crayfish in the ACT Region.