Lake Eyre Basin Rivers 44 more common (B. Cockayne, pers. comm.). The wider distribution patterns of Lake Eyre Basin fishes are also described elsewhere (Kerezsy et al. 2014). The Cooper Creek fish fauna is not rich compared with Queensland’s coastal rivers (23– 55 species Pusey et al. 2004), but the native fishes are of ecological and conservation significance, and several are valued socially and economically for recreational fishing (e.g. yellowbelly). In 15 waterholes sampled in the Cooper Creek catchment in 2001 using standardised fyke-net sampling (Fig. 4.2), five widespread indigenous species contributed 96% of the total catch (Arthington et al. 2005). Proportional abundances were silver tandan (45.5%), north-west ambassis or glassfish (19.9%), spangled perch (12.5%), bony bream (9.7%) and Hyrtl’s tandan (8.4%). Seven species contributed the remaining 4% of catch. Sampling in four waterholes of the Windorah reach of Cooper Creek on eight occasions between April 2001 and December 2004 (Balcombe and Arthington 2009) yielded generally similar patterns D. Boom phase A. Bust phase B. Rising channel flow C. Rising flood E. Falling flood F. Falling channel flow Decreasing connectivity Increasing connectivity Decreasing connec tivity Decreasing connectivity Increasing connectivity Fig. 4.1. Aquatic habitat conditions associated with the natural hydrological cycle in Cooper Creek, showing: (A) drying waterhole (bust phase, photo, A. Emmott), (B) rising channel flow (photo, A. Emmott), (C) rising flood and breakout onto floodplain (photo, R. T. Kingsford), (D) large flood in October 2016 (boom phase, photo, R.T. Kingsford), (E) falling flood (photo, R. T. Kingsford), (F) falling channel flow (photo, A. Emmott), sparse riparian vegetation, bare banks and exposure of habitat features such as fallen timber. Patterns of increasing and decreasing connectivity are represented. B and F show a rising channel flow becoming a falling channel flow rather than breaking onto the floodplain. C and E show a small flood receding off an inundated floodplain. In both cases connectivity pathways are limited compared to those achieved by a very large flood (D). Figure adapted from Arthington and Balcombe (2011).
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