The footage show hundreds of small fish (most likely Striped Gudeons, Gobiomorphus australis) sheltering from fast flowing water, at the sides of a drain that flows into Dee Why Lagoon.
Jason Ruszczyk, Environment Officer at Warringah Council shot the video in May 2014. Heavy rain during the previous week, resulted in raised water levels to the point where it was necessary to 'pop the berm' allowing water to flow into the drain and thus into Dee Why Lagoon.
So just how common is it to see 'fish out of water'? Some Australian freshwater fishes, in particular the galaxids and gudgeons, are well known for their climbing ability. Here are a few examples:
- Galaxias climbing Winburndale dam.
- Cox's Gudgeons climbing Penrith Weir and Manly Dam.
- Striped Gudgeons ascending a grassy slope from a flooded creek.
Moving into marine waters, the mudskippers are well known for their ability to hop around on mudflats and climb tree roots. For me however, the extraordinary Pacific Leaping Blenny gets the prize as one of the best fishy climbers.