G. tanycephalus

Protecting threatened species

We manage waters that provide essential habitat for threatened species. We protect those species and manage the environment for future generations. Research into galaxiid fish species in Arthurs Lake and yingina / Great Lake has shed new light on the four threatened fish species in those waters.

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We manage 60 per cent of Tasmania’s fresh water resources, and employ scientists to study and protect its diverse flora and fauna.

Native galaxiid fish

The central highland lakes contain five threatened galaxiid species: the Arthurs paragalaxias (Paragalaxias mesotes), Shannon paragalaxias (Paragalaxias dissimilis), Great Lake paragalaxias (Paragalaxias eleotroides), the western paragalaxias (Paragalaxias julianus), and saddled galaxias (Galaxias tanycephalus) and.

The lakes also contain three non-threatened native fish: the spotted galaxias (Galaxias truttaceus), climbing galaxias (Galaxias brevipinnis) and shortfinned eel (Anguilla australis).

We’ve funded research into how threatened fish species grow and reproduce, where and when they spawn, and the habitats they need to survive. That information helps us manage water levels to protect important habitat.

Managing yingina Great Lake for threatened fish species


Our scientists have successfully protected threatened species in challenging conditions. The water level in yingina / Great Lake dropped to near historically post dam low levels, because of the record dry spring and Basslink cable failure in 2015-16. We took decisive action – relying more on other hydropower storages to reduce the risk of dewaterng galaxid eggs during the spawning season.

Once the lake was replenished in mid-2016, our monitoring program found the galaxiid population was largely secure and unaffected.

We’re trialling new methods of protecting fish, including artificial spawning habitat. An initial trial at Swan Bay in 2016 and 2017 found some galaxiids were successfully spawning among the 15 rock piles we’d artificially installed. We’re also trialling a range of transportable artificial spawning habitats in Great Lake and Shannon Lagoon that may be installed from the shore or boats.


Pd with eggs January 2017

Threatened species at Lake Pedder

Lake Pedder contains several rare and newly-discovered species. We take pride in discovering and protecting these special wonders.

The Pedder galaxias is Australia’s most endangered freshwater fish.  It original range included Lake Pedder and associated tributaries, however its numbers declined following impoundment of the natural lake in the early 1970’s.  Between the early to mid 1990s, 34 fish were translocated to Lake Oberon in the Western Arthur Range in an attempt to secure the species future, and these fish successfully established a breeding population. Between 2001 and 2002, 74 fish were subsequently moved from Lake Oberon to Hydro Tasmania’s Strathgordon water supply dam, and these fish formed the basis for a second successful translocated breeding population.

Two new species of freshwater isopod, Colubotelson pedderensis and Colubotelson edgarensis were found in Lake Pedder in 2010.  The former was found in deep water areas of the original submerged bed of Lake Pedder whilst the latter was found around the current extend of the impounded or “new” Lake Pedder.  Isopods are a type of crustacean with different species capable of living in marine, freshwater or terrestrial habitats.

The mountain shrimp, Alanaspides helonomus, was previously only known to exist in marshy buttongrass moorlands around Lake Pedder, but was also discovered within deep water areas of Lake Pedder.

Other species discovered include:

  • The freshwater sponge, Radiospongilla pedderensis;
  • The parasitic wasp, Trichomalopsis sisyrae, whose life history is closely associated with the freshwater sponge
  • The flatworm Romankenkius pedderensis which had been thought to be extinct since Lake Pedder was inundated in the 1970s.