Gambusia Management

Gambusia "Devil of a Fish" help stop the spread of this pest.

  1. Gambusia can increase from a few fish to millions in a single season. This extra competition devastates our native fish and frog populations.

  2. Don't move Gambusia – check boating and fishing equipment to avoid infecting other areas.  Fines apply to people found moving or possessing Gambusia.

  3. Report sightings of Gambusia to the Inland Fisheries Service on 1300 INFISH or


Gambusia is an introduced pest fish from the Gulf of Mexico in North America. It preys on the eggs and young of native frogs and fish in the Tamar estuary and competes for food and shelter with native species.

 A single female Gambusia and her young can potentially produce nearly a million offspring in one season. The listed vulnerable Green and Golden Frog (Litoria raniformis) is particularly affected, as Gambusia continue to attack and ‘fin nip’ larger tadpoles. This drives tadpoles away from the best sources of food and shelter and forces them to spend time hiding rather than feeding. Preventing these local impacts from becoming state wide is of critical importance.

The Gambusia Trapping Program aims to control or eradicate the pest fish Gambusia from the Tamar estuary and adjacent waterways. The methods employed to date include direct control actions, research into trap development, raising awareness to promote community involvement and minimising the risk of Gambusia spreading beyond the Tamar valley. Control actions vary from temporary drying of drainage lines and poisoning of dams to trapping and hand netting in open and interconnected waterways. Maintaining or building volunteer participation in the trapping program is a core focus of the project. Community groups and local schools and have been engaged and volunteers from several groups are involved in the ongoing trapping program.

This project is delivered by Tamar NRM on behalf of the TEER Program for NRM North.

Supported by
Tasmania - Explore the possibilitiesLaunceston City CouncilWest Tamar CouncilGeorge Town CouncilNorthern Midlands CouncilMeander Valley CouncilHydro Tasmania

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