Creating sanctuaries for Endangered Clanwilliam sandfish


The Clanwilliam sandfish may be headed for extinctioN

– faster than any other freshwater fish in the Cederberg district. That’s because of recruitment failure due to rivers drying up during the dry summer months, and predation by non-native fish like Bluegill sunfish.

Image above: Bluegill sunfish

In an effort to increase the survival of young sandfish, the Saving Sandfish project became involved. This project is helping to protect Clandwilliam sandfish from extinction – working to strengthen stewardship among communities in the Biedouw Valley.

Image above: Biedouw River

Biedouw River

Rescuing young sandfish from the Biedouw River

– one of the last known sandfish spawning sites – and moving them to safer habitats away from non-native fish and water abstraction. 

Image above: Sandfish

The Fynbos Fish Trust is a partner on the project and assisting with removing Bluegill sunfish from farm dams within the Biedouw River valley to create refuges for young sandfish to thrive before eventually being released back into the wild.

The piscicide rotenone was used to treat a dam at Mertenhof farm, with the support of the farm owner, Barry Lubbe.

If this phase is a success, then other dams in the catchment will also be treated to further increase sandfish survival, as well as landowner involvement in the project (and the region). 

Help us protect these ancient species…

many of which are swimming on the edge of extinction.