In Search of the Prehistoric Lungfish

Searching for the prehistoric lungfish

Exploring Tuntable Creek's Secrets

In mid-April, a collaborative effort between Richmond Landcare, Ozfish, and Tuntable Creek Landcare aimed to unravel the mysteries of Tuntable Creek by searching for the elusive and prehistoric lungfish. The decision to conduct eDNA testing stemmed from several credible sightings reported via social media and discussions with Tuntable Creek Landcare, prompting the need for scientific verification.

Excitement reverberated throughout the community as Emily Headlam, Landcare Coordinator at Richmond Landcare, emphasized the profound implications of discovering the lungfish in this waterway. “If evidence of the fish is found here, it could lead to significant conservation actions and positively impact the wider community,” she noted.

Tuntable Landcare, an active participant in Lismore City Council’s Urban Landcare Program, collaborated closely with Richmond Landcare to facilitate the eDNA testing in partnership with Ozfish. This collaborative initiative aims to enhance regional biodiversity. Additionally, community members actively engaged in the endeavour by participating in water bug sampling, providing valuable insights into the overall water quality of Tuntable Creek.

Recently, the test results arrived, revealing that the lungfish remains elusive in this particular creek. However, the study did detect various other aquatic species, such as the Longfin Eel, rainbowfish genus, Australian bass, Carp, and Australian Smelt. Lucas Kas, Senior Project Officer at Ozfish, expressed disappointment about not finding the lungfish but highlighted the importance of this community activity in deepening our understanding of Tuntable Creek’s health.

Lucas further emphasized that improving water quality stands as the most crucial aspect of restoring fish habitats. “By restoring the riparian zones, which encompass the vegetation lining our waterways, we can make significant strides in achieving this goal,” he explained. Collaborating with Landcare, with their expertise in land conservation, along with Ozfish’s knowledge of aquatic systems, enables a synergistic approach that leads to better outcomes for our waterways.

Throughout this project, the wider community had a unique opportunity to delve into the world of lungfish, eDNA testing, and strategies to improve the health of our waterways. Although the lungfish remained undetected in Tuntable Creek, this endeavour brought the community together, fostering a deeper connection and understanding of the environment in which we live.



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