Fish Habitat Restoration Project

Creating new Black Pygmy Mussel beds in the upper Swan-Canning Estuary may improve overall estuary health and provide a food source encouraging the repopulation of key fishery species.

The Black Pygmy Mussel (Xenostrobus securis) is native to the middle and upper reaches of the Swan-Canning Estuary. In the past, this small mussel covered snags and formed large beds within the waterway.

It was a key food source for important recreational fish species, like the Black Bream, and helped to maintain the health of the estuary by filtering water and creating additional habitat for small crustaceans. While this wonderful species is hanging on, there is a huge opportunity to increase the population. In turn, recreational fishing and the health of the estuary can both be improved.

This project will create new native mussel beds (Black Pygmy Mussels) at 20 sites in the middle to upper Swan-Canning Estuary.  The project aims to establish a methodology for creating mussel beds from natural recruitment which will help boost the recreational fishing experience by providing high quality food for key fishery species and improve water quality through enhancing biological filtration and hence nutrient removal.

The project will be led by The Nature Conservancy.  The location, installation and monitoring of the mussel beds and fish faunas will be supported by local recreational fishing groups coordinated by OzfishWA and guided by The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and Murdoch University, who are experts in shellfish reef restoration.

This work will complement the Blue Mussel reefs being constructed by TNC in the lower estuary to enhance fisheries productivity, water quality and biodiversity, as well as the rehabilitation of the riparian zone being led by Perth NRM in the middle Canning Estuary.

This project is funded by the Fisheries Habitat Restoration Program, supported by Perth NRM through funding from the Australian Government.

[Title image supplied by Andrew Bossie, The Nature Conservancy]


We acknowledge and appreciate the support of all our partners, supporters, funding bodies and sponsors.

Share with
Back to Top