The Fitzroy River is experiencing a boom in baby sawfish. David Morgan, Senior Research Leader in the Freshwater Fish Group at Murdoch University said that the numbers of baby (new born pups) sawfish in the Fitzroy River is unprecendented.

To put it into context, Team Sawfish caught more baby sawfish in one pool in 2 hours last Thursday (2 June 2011) night than they did in all the years between 2001 and 2006 combined. 

The Team has been tagging sawfish since 2003 with almost 400 sawfish tagged to date.  The Team, which found the record numbers of sawfish pups, was comprised of Murdoch's Freshwater Fish Group and the Nyikina-Mangala Rangers.

They are off to Fitzroy Crossing next where other community Team members have also reported numerous small sawfish. David it is exciting times for sawfish research and is glad that the State NRM funded the current project, which is the longest freshwater fish monitoring project in Western Australia's history.  If unfunded, we would not have had the data to support the 'boom' and it may have gone unnoticed. He also noted that the Fisheries Society of the British Isles, the Australia and Pacific Science Foundation and National Geographic has recently contributed some funds to support Endeavour Fellow Dr Adrian Gleiss to be involved in the project.

David also revealed that the 'boom' is likely a result of a good wet season, that has also seen the cherabin returning after a long absence and barramundi are recruiting well, although all are being trapped below the Barrage where they are predated on by Bull Sharks and crocodiles.

There is a need for the public to report it if they catch a tagged sawfish, you can now report it online; just follow the Team Sawfish link and help protect this endangered species.  Sawfish are protected in Western Australian waters.