Your gateway to a wide range of natural resources information and associated maps

Victorian Resources Online

Tracking the habitat preferences, spawning locations and movements of dusky flathead in the Gippsland Lakes

A large research project to investigate the movement patterns of dusky flathead throughout the Gippsland Lakes and among smaller inlets in south eastern Australia, has been funded by the Recreational Fishing Licence Trust.

This project is being run through a partnership between the Nicholson Angling Club and Dr Jeremy Hindell, Department of Primary Industries. This exciting new project will use acoustic telemetry to investigate how and when dusky flathead move, which habitats are most important for spawning, and whether fish move among the smaller inlets along Victoria's southeastern coast.

The first batch of twenty tagged dusky flathead are off and swimming. Members of the Nicholson Angling club, Barry 'Doc' McKenzie and his trusty deckhand Lewis caught fish for tagging in the Mitchell and Tambo Rivers, and closer to Lakes Entrance. Most fish were around 30 to 40 cm in length, although one larger fish of 70 cm was also tagged. The next scheduled download of listening stations has been scheduled for mid March, so stay tuned to find out where these iconic recreational species move.

In the mean time, check out some the video footage of tagged dusky flathead in the Gippsland Lakes.

All dusky flathead tagged with an acoustic transmitter are also tagged externally with a yellow T-bar tag. This external tag carries contact details for fishers to report catching a fish. Fishers are encouraged to gently handle tagged fish and return them to the water as soon as possible after capture. Fishers reporting a tagged flathead will receive a summary of the movements undertaken by their fish.

Image:  Fish Tracking - Dusky flathead
Dusky flathead

Image:  Fish Tracking - Dusky flathead
Dusky flathead
Photo:  Acoustic Transmitters
Acoustic transmitters
Photo: Dusky flathead being tagged with external T-bar tag
Dusky flathead being tagged with T-bar tag

Photo:  Tagged flathead post release
Tagged dusky flathead post release

Photo:  Dusky flathead post surgery
Dusky flathead post surgery
Page top