Three surveys conducted in Lake Illawarra between 1997 and 2000 were designed to assess the abundance and number of species of small fish living in seagrass around the foreshore. The three studies were similar in using a small haul net, but differed in terms of net dimensions, and duration and frequency of sampling. A 12 m net was used in two of the surveys, but one survey was done at quarterly intervals over a three year period, while the other was at four to eight week intervals over one year. The third study used a 20 m net with a coarser mesh, and visited Lake Illawarra on only one occasion. In combination, 70 species of fish were found, of which 34 have economic significance. More species were found in the three-year survey even though the number of hauls was intermediate to the other two. Some species were found uniquely in each study. The species composition of small fishes in Lake Illawarra is placed in the context of recent sampling in over 100 other estuaries in NSW. Some of the management implications in relation to entrance condition and number of species of fish likely to be present are discussed.
How to Cite:
Williams, R.J., Louden, B. and Jones, M., 2006. Fish biodiversity in Lake Illawarra: A review of three recent surveys. Wetlands Australia, 21(2), pp.pp. 168–179. DOI: http://doi.org/10.31646/wa.270