Freshwater fishes

Australia has a highly diverse marine fish fauna, however the number of freshwater species is relatively few for such a large continent. The arid climate and inconsistent rainfall throughout much of the country has not provided for the development of extensive or complex freshwater systems. Freshwater environments are largely restricted to the coastal fringe of the north and east of Australia. These are the areas that have the most diverse freshwater fish communities.

About 300 species of native and foreign introduced freshwater fishes occur in Australia. Most of these were recently derived from marine ancestors. Many of the 30 introduced species have established permanent breeding populations. A number of these have caused significant harm to native fish populations and freshwater habitats. Numerous estuarine and marine fish species also enter freshwater, either regularly as part of their lifecycles, or occasionally for purposes such as for feeding, or to avoid predators.

The attached list of fishes (183 KB) pdf document icon includes all species that may be found in freshwater throughout Queensland. It includes native and introduced species, and species that are primarily marine or estuarine, but may be found in freshwater.

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