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Silver perch

Murray male 
                                            GraftonReleasing Silver Perch

When you pick up your fingerlings from Aquablue or have them delivered to your door, you will have a foam box that is sealed. This will keep the temperature inside the box cool and stable. Inside the box is a sealed plastic bag with water and fish inside. The water in the bag may be an odd colour — this is a chemical we have added to keep the fish calm and healthy. The bag is filled with pure oxygen and this will sustain the fish for up to 48 hours in the bag.

When you receive the fish, take them to the side of the dam in the foam box. Open the foam box and sit the plastic bag upright so you can add water from the dam into the bag. This will acclimatize the fish to the dam and give them the very best start.

Open the plastic bag, add 2 litres of dam water and just wait 5 minutes. Then add 6 litres of water and wait another 5 minutes. Just spend those 10 minutes with the fish to ensure that it is not a big shock to them when you transfer them from the bag to the dam, as the waters will be very different.

Releasing the fish is easy, just empty the bag into the dam and check when finished that no stupid ones have stayed in the bag. It is best to release these fish into 1 metre of water. You can just release them into the shallows but this can be stressful and dangerous for your fingerlings. The trouble is that these fish are most vulnerable to predation in that first 10 minutes. When they enter a new pond they are disorientated and frightened. Many will just dive to the bottom and try and hide, too scared to do anything or go anywhere.

Silver perch fingerlings If this is shallow water then they are very vulnerable to birds and mosquito fish. Be warned, most farm dams on the eastern side of the Great Divide have mosquito fish (gambusia holbrookie). Mosquito fish do not get large but they are a pest. They will not eat your fingerlings but they will bite their tails and can eat the tails right off the silver. They are a shallow water surface species that swarm in the shallows. If you release the fingerlings at a depth of 1 metre then these mosquito fish will not cause any problems.

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