Document Type

Conference Proceeding


Aachen University


Faculty of Computing, Health and Science


School of Natural Sciences / Centre for Ecosystem Management




This article was originally published as: Mccullough, C. D., & Lund, M. A. (2011). Limiting factors for crayfish and finfish in acidic coal pit lake. Paper presented at the 11th IMWA Congress Mine Water - Managing the Challenges. Aachen University. Aachen, Germany. Original article available here


World-wide, open-cut mining operations often leave pit lakes at closure. The Collie Lake District in south-west Australia has 13 pit lakes from open-cut coal extraction, with more expected. Many lakes may offer beneficial end uses as fisheries habitat for biodiversity or for recreational species. However, pit lakes may have degraded water quality due to Acid and Metalliferous Drainage (AMD). A literature review and survey for marron (endemic crayfish of biodiversity and recreational value) and fin-fish (of only biodiversity value) found that crayfish were likely more limited by habitat and food availability, and fin-fish by water quality. Management of these mild acidic water bodies must address both issues if sustainable fisheries and aquatic biodiversity are desired beneficial end uses.