Noxious fish

There are many noxious fish, also known as pest fish, included in the Biosecurity Act 2014 that are managed in accordance with obligations established by the Queensland Government. Many of these species are present in South East Queensland waterways. These species are listed in Part 6 and Schedule 2 of the Act and include:

  • alligator gar (Atractosteus spatula)
  • black pacu (Piaractus brachypomus)
  • carp (Cyprinus carpio)
  • Chinese weatherfish (Misqurnus anquillicaudatus)
  • climbing perch (Anabas testudineus)
  • gambusia (Gambusia holbrooki)
  • giant cichlid, yellow belly cichlid (Boulengerochromis microlepis)
  • marbeled lungfish (Protopterus aethiopicus)
  • spotted gar (Lepisosteus oculatus)
  • Tilapia (Oreochromis mossambicus and Tilapia mariae).


Various species of noxious fish can inhabit and displace native fish. They can introduce parasites and disease, as well as altering their habitat.

Types of noxious fish

Different species of noxious fish.
Image Name of fish

Alligator gar

(Atractosteus spatula)

Black pacu

(Piaractus brachypomus)


(Cyprinus carpio)

Chinese weatherfish

(Misqurnus anquillicaudatus)

Climbing perch

(Anabas testudineus)


(Gambusia holbrooki)


Giant cichlid, yellow belly cichlid

(Boulengerochromis microlepis)

Marbeled lungfish

(Protopterus aethiopicus)

Spotted gar

(Lepisosteus oculatus)



(Oreochromis mossambicus)




After a noxious species of fish is caught, it must be immediately killed and must not be returned to the water. Under the Biosecurity Act 2014, people cannot possess noxious fish, or keep, hatch, rear, sell, consign, or place them in any container.

There is active research into biological control measures for some species such as carp and tilapia, which when implemented will help reduce some of the ecological damage caused by these species.

What Council is doing

A management strategy has been developed and is outlined in the Biosecurity Plan for the Brisbane Local Government Area. Some of these strategies include:

  • educating residents and the community about the impacts of noxious fish on the natural environment and noxious fish management
  • educating residents on the risks posed to our native biodiversity when ornamental fish are released into waterways
  • supporting research into biological controls and new innovations to manage noxious fish
  • containing noxious fish and preventing the incursion into areas where they are currently not present
  • managing noxious fish by reducing the population density of established species where possible.

Report noxious fish

Council encourages the reporting of noxious fish. This information is used to determine the best locations to implement management programs.

To report a noxious fish species in water bodies in Council parks, complete the online form, or phone Council on 07 3403 8888.

To report noxious fish elsewhere, contact the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries.

More information

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External resources: 

Last updated:9 May 2019