Invasive pest fish
Identify invasive pest fish in our region and find out how to restrict them from our lakes and waterways.
There are many invasive and high-risk ornamental fish listed within the Biosecurity Act 2014. Several of these species have been recorded within constructed water bodies and in the natural waterways of the Sunshine Coast.
The restricted noxious fish currently present in our waterways are:
- Tilapia Oreochromis mossambicus
- Mosquito Fish Gambusia holbrooki.
The restricted noxious fish that have been recorded but are yet to establish known populations in the Sunshine Coast Local Government Area are:
- Carp Cyprinus carpio.
Several high-risk ornamental fish have also been recorded in our waterways:
We all have general biosecurity obligations to adhere to
If you catch a restricted noxious fish or a high-risk ornamental fish, you must:
- kill fish immediately and humanely
- if out in a boat, place dead noxious fish in a dry bucket separate from your permitted catch and dispose of them in a garbage bin or bury them immediately when reaching land
- ensure the dead fish is either buried or placed into an appropriate council garbage bin (away from the water) as soon as practicable
- report any illegal activities in relation to pest fish immediately to Biosecurity Queensland by phoning 13 25 23
- if you see invasive pest fish which are not listed above, or you suspect it could be, report it to Biosecurity Queensland through their online reporting form.
- return the fish to the water
- use the fish for bait.
How you can help
The introduction of invasive pest fish into our waterways can cause a decline in native fish populations. Invasive fish disturb the natural balance and biodiversity of our aquatic habitats through a reduction in water quality and overall decline in the health of the aquatic ecosystem. You can help prevent the problems caused by invasive pest fish by:
- not disposing unwanted aquarium fish into lake systems or natural waterways
- use only native fish in outdoor ornamental ponds
- if you do have exotic fish in outdoor ornamental ponds, ensure that they cannot overflow into other waterways
- not trade unwanted exotic fish with aquarium shops.
How to report restricted noxious and high-risk ornamental fish found in our lakes and waterways
Council encourages the reporting of all invasive pest fish. This information is used to determine the best locations to implement management actions.
To report an invasive pest fish, you can:
- report the sighting via the Biosecurity Queensland online reporting form
- contact Fisheries Queensland via the 24-hour Fishwatch hotline on 1800 017 116
- record the sighting via FeralFishScan.
What council is doing
- Educating the community about the impacts of invasive pest fish on the natural environment
- Educating the community on the risks posed to our native biodiversity when non-native fish are released into waterways
- Educating the community about the management options for invasive pest fish
- Supporting research into biological controls and new innovations to manage invasive pest fish
- Investigating where invasive pest fish populations already exist and ways to prevent incursion into new areas where they are currently not present
- Undertaking invasive pest fish surveys in constructed waterbodies and recording the results into FeralFishScan
- Investigating management strategies to reduce invasive pest fish population density of established species where possible.
- Identifying invasive freshwater animals
- Queensland Government factsheet – Invasive fish of Queensland
- Queensland Government factsheet – Tilapia
- Queensland Government factsheet – Carp.