Australian Aquatic Biological

Australian aquatic biodiversity research and consultancy

The White Cloud Mountain Minnow Tanichthys albonubes

Australian Aquatic Biological P/L Report 100056-8 to Gosford City Council included a survey of Green Point Creek at Pearl Beach, NSW. The creek was surveyed at the crossing on Diamond Road.

Green Point Creek

Green Point Creek

Here the creek here was strongly flowing over a sandy stream bed. There were shallow areas and deeper holes. The banks had some rock retaining walls but were well shaded with ferns and palms, etc. The creek was extremely healthy with abundant aquatic species present. Some plague minnows Gambusia holbrooki were present, we observed a small long finned eel, several flat headed gudgeons, many striped gudgeons and common jollytails.

The striped gudgeon Gobiomorphus australis

The striped gudgeon Gobiomorphus australis

The common jollytail Galaxias maculatus

The common jollytail Galaxias maculatus

Further upstream at Tourmaline Avenue the creek was surveyed again, here the stream was again sandy based with deeper holes and looked in excellent condition. We surveyed the stream finding only dozens of striped gudgeons and surprisingly the White Cloud Mountain minnow Tanichthys albonubes. The White Cloud Mountain minnow is an exotic freshwater fish. It is a species that would normally be found in a fish tank so it is alarming that this exotic species is established in numbers within this stream. It is a robust species and a member of the carp family being a native of China. Their robust nature and bright colouration makes them popular as an aquarium species and they are not normally found in natural waterways of NSW.

The White Cloud Mountain minnow Tanichthys albonubes

The White Cloud Mountain minnow Tanichthys albonubes

I did some research on this species and found that, NSW DPI has known about this feral population since late 2002 and continues to monitor the situation. Unfortunately, one of the specimens collected was gravid so conditions were suitable for breeding which is a big worry. Discussions with residents in the area report Australian Bass and eels in the deeper holes and freshwater crayfish further upstream.

White Cloud Mountain minnows from Green Point Creek, Pearl Beach, NSW

White Cloud Mountain minnows from Green Point Creek, Pearl Beach, NSW

Discussions with the Australian Museum also record this species from Piles Creek at Somersby, NSW. We did a preliminary survey of this creek specifically targeting the White Cloud Mountain Minnow but were unable to find it. That does not mean it’s not there however, it does indicate that it’s not proliferating well and numbers are either very small or scattered, etc. Unfortunately, we did find invasive Cherax destructor proliferating in the stream so that was not so good news.

The yabby Cherax destructor from Piles Creek, Somersby NSW

The yabby Cherax destructor from Piles Creek, Somersby NSW

Research & Aquaculture Director for Australian Aquatic Biological P/L
Team Leader for The Australian Crayfish Project
Director of Mid West Yabby & Fish Traders and RBM Aquaculture
Secretary of NSW Aquaculture Assoc Inc
Research Associate for Carnegie Museum of Natural History
Honorary Research Fellow, Queensland Museum

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