Zombie fish … back from the dead

Zombie fish … back from the dead

Ever feel like planning approval conditions are a bit overkill? Covering for scenarios that are surely so unlikely that it hardly warrants the compliance imposition? Us too. Until of course our project team colleagues found an “extinct” species on a project in 2019!

Working on returning Third Reedy Lake to its original wetland environment in northern Victoria, the Goulburn-Murray Water project team discovered two Southern Purple-Spotted Gudgeon, (previously declared extinct in Victoria in 1998), hanging out in the reeds by the regulator. Of course, they were affectionately coined the ‘Zombie Fish’ and the name has kind of stuck!

Most of that project team would have worked their whole lives dealing with the decline of threatened or endangered species, so to have an opportunity to be witnessing the opposite is something special!

And it’s not just the project team and specialists helping to bring the Zombie Fish species back from the dead. The Bears, a farming family in Loddon Vale, north Victoria, turned one of their grass paddocks into a wetland in a bid to help the native fish survive.

The little critters have since been discovered in similar habitats in nearby lakes, and as the subject of a breeding program, have been nursed back to a healthy population, being reintroduced to hospitable habitats around the traps!