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About Tuggerah Lake

Name Habitat
The Entrance
The Entrance to Chittaway Bay

Grasslands/ saltmarsh/ coastal scrub

Saltwater Creek Boardwalk
Saltwater Creek Boardwalk

Saltmarsh

Wyrrabalong National Park Lilly Pilly Loop Trail
Wyrrabalong National Park Lilly Pilly Loop Trail

Rainforest

Canton Beach
Canton Beach

Saltmarsh

North Entrance to Wilfred Barrett Drive
North Entrance to Wilfred Barrett Drive

Saltmarsh/ coastal scrub

Redgum Trail
Redgum Trail

Rainforest

Lake Trail
Lake Trail

Wetlands

Rutile Trail
Rutile Trail

Coatsal Scrub

Lake Munmorah Walking Path
Lake Munmorah Walking Path

Coatsal Scrub

Darren Smith Memorial Cycleway
Darren Smith Memorial Cycleway

Coatsal Scrub

Budgewoi Point to Wallarah Creek
Budgewoi Point to Wallarah Creek

Coatsal Scrub

Budgewoi Bridge
Name Best Seasons Tips Habitat
Australasian_Darter_Christina_Port.jpg
Australasian Darter

All year round.

The Australasian Darter catches fish with its sharp bill partly open while diving in water deeper than 60 cm. The fish is pierced from underneath, flicked onto the waters surface and then swallowed head first.

The Australasian Darter is found in wetlands and sheltered coastal waters, mainly in the Tropics and Subtropics. It prefers smooth, open waters, for feeding, with tree trunks, branches, stumps or posts fringing the water, for resting and drying its wings.

Great_Cormorant_Christina_Port.jpg
Great Cormorant

All year round.

The Great Cormorant will predominantly feed on fish. However, they will also eat crustaceans, aquatic insects and frogs.

The Great Cormorant is found commonly around estuaries and coastal inlets. They will live in areas that have permanent water across most of Australia.

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Nankeen Night-Heron

All year round.

The Nankeen Night-Heron feeds primarily at night in shallow water on a wide variety of insects, crustaceans, fish and amphibians but can occasionally be observed feeding during the day.

The Nankeen Night-Heron is found throughout Australia, wherever there is permanent water.

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Scaly-breasted Lorikeet

All year round.

The Scaly-breasted Lorikeet feeds in flocks on nectar and pollen that they harvest with their brush-tongues. They mostly feed from eucalypts, but also from shrubs such as Melaleuca, Callistemon and Banksia. They also feed on nectar, pollen, fruits and seeds from umbrella trees.

The Scaly-breasted Lorikeet lives in lowland Eucalypt forests and woodlands but also occurs in heathlands and well-treed urban areas, including parks and gardens.

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Striped Honeyeater

All year round.

The Striped Honeyeater feeds mainly on insects and spiders, but will also eat nectar and other plant sugars, along with seeds, berries and fruit.

The Striped Honeyeater is found in forests and woodlands, often along rivers, lakes, as well as mangroves and in urban gardens.

Budgewoi Creek
Name Best Seasons Tips Habitat
Yellowfin Bream
Yellowfin Bream and Tarwhine

In winter Yellowfin Bream and Tarwhine can be found in deeper water in sandy and rocky areas. In summer they prefer shallow water in sandy areas.

Small prawns or soft body lures are best to catch Yellowfin Bream and Tarwhine; however they are not fussy eaters and can be caught on most types of bait. It is best to take a variety of bait types and see what works best on the day. Chicken gut, bread, prawns and fish are good options.

Yellowfin Bream and Tarwhine prefer areas that have seagrass next to large structures like bridge pylons out of fast moving water.

Dusky Flathead
Dusky Flathead

Dusky Flathead are more active in the warmer months. This increased activity is due to their breeding season. They are less active in winter months but do not migrate so they are still present.

Soft plastic lures cast over a sea floor drop off area or estuary channel and then retrieved back is one of the best fishing actions to catch Dusky Flathead. This results in the fish ambushing the lure like it’s a prawn or small fish swimming to shallow water for shelter.

Dusky Flathead typically live in the benthic zone which is the zone located at the very bottom of a lake or estuary. They prefer soft substrates including sand, mud and seagrass areas.

Luderick
Luderick

Most Luderick are caught in the winter months. Generally the afternoons are best but mornings can also have good results.

Long, flexible rods, very small hooks and pencil floats are commonly used, with green weed the preferred bait. Luderick can be a difficult species to catch.

Luderick typically live in rocky areas, near pylons or around seagrass in schools. They live in water up to 20m deep and swim up rivers and creeks in their juvenile years.

Sea Mullet
Sea Mullet

Sea Mullet can be found all year round but they are more active during autumn to early winter during their spawning season.

Sea Mullet are not very common to catch but are targeted by specialist anglers. They can be caught on a very small hook using worms or dough. However, this can be extremely difficult.

Sea Mullet prefer to live around shallow weed beds and bare substrates. However, they are a reasonably active species and will travel between fresh and saltwater depending on their age.

Garfish
Garfish

Garfish are most active just before winter continuing until spring. They have been known to be caught when the tide is running out or during periods of high discharge from the estuary inlets.

Bait fishing is a great method for catching Garfish. Small bits of bread and small hooks will work best.

Garfish school near the surface at night and over weed and seagrass beds during the day.

Central Coast wetlands
Name Best Seasons Tips Habitat
Australian_Pelican_3_Christina_Port.jpg
Australian Pelican

All year round.

Australian Pelicans use their large bills as a net to capture fish. Their bills are extremely sensitive which allows them to find food in murky water. A flock will work together to herd fish into shallow waters where they can then be easily caught.

The Australian Pelican is found in waterways throughout Australia. They can move around over large distances looking for suitable habitat and an adequate supply of food.

Black_Swan.JPG
Black Swan

All year round.

The Black Swan is a vegetarian. Their diet consists of algae and weeds. They are able to gather this by plunging their long neck into water up to 1m deep. They are also known to graze on land sometimes but prefer to feed in the water as they are clumsy walkers.

The Black Swan prefers larger waterways and permanent wetlands. The Tuggerah Lakes are a key breeding habitat because it offers calm closed water with a large amount of available food. Outside the breeding season, Black Swans travel quite large distances. Birds fly at night and rest during the day with other swans.

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Little Black Cormorant

All year round.

The Little Black Cormorant feeds on fish, crustaceans and aquatic insects. It catches prey underwater, by diving and swimming using its large, fully webbed feet for propulsion.

The Little Black Cormorant is mainly found in freshwater wetlands, but will sometimes be found on sheltered coastal waters, and can use relatively small, deep water bodies. It is strongly aquatic, rarely seen on dry land, but is often seen resting on rocks or jetties.

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Red-rumped Parrot

All year round.

The Red-rumped Parrot feeds in pairs or small flocks on the ground. They forage for seeds and leaves of grasses but will also feed on seeds, fruits and flowers in trees.

The Red-rumped Parrot is found in predominantly in open grasslands or lightly timbered areas. They also are found along watercourses.

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Royal Spoonbill

All year round.

The Royal Spoonbill feeds mainly on fish in freshwater, and on shrimps in tidal flats; it will also eat other crustaceans and aquatic insects.

The Royal Spoonbill is found in shallow freshwater and saltwater wetlands, intertidal mud flats and wet grasslands.

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White-breasted Woodswallow

All year round.

The White-breasted Woodswallow feeds on insects, catching them on the wing. They will also forage on the ground or in canopy. They can also feed on nectar from flowers with its divided, brush-tipped tongue.

The White-breasted Woodswallow is found in Eucalypt forests and woodlands, usually close to water, and in mangroves or saltmarsh areas.

Chittaway point
Name Best Seasons Tips Habitat
Black-winged_Stilt_1.jpg
Black-winged Stilt

All year round.

Black-winged Stilts feed mainly on aquatic insects, but will also take molluscs and crustaceans. They wade in shallow water, and catch prey on or near the surface.

The Black-winged Stilt are found around freshwater and saltwater marshes, wetlands, saltmarsh, mudflats, and the shallow edges of lakes and rivers. They are a communal species that are regularly found in small groups.

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Sharp-tailed Sandpiper

Summer months.

The Sharp-tailed Sandpiper feeds on aquatic insects, larvae, worms, molluscs, crustaceans and occasionally seeds. They will often be found in large flocks with other wading birds.

The Sharp-tailed Sandpiper is found around grassy edges of shallow inland wetlands, saltmarsh, mudflats and sometimes on beaches.

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Striated Heron

All year round.

The Striated Herons dominant food source consists of crustaceans, molluscs and small fish. They will stalk their prey by waiting in the water or plunging from an overhanging tree by stabbing it with their sharp bill.

The Striated Heron will inhabit mudflats and saltmarsh areas where there is an abundance of food and shallow water.

Colongra wetland
Name Best Seasons Tips Habitat
Black_Swan.JPG
Black Swan

All year round.

The Black Swan is a vegetarian. Their diet consists of algae and weeds. They are able to gather this by plunging their long neck into water up to 1m deep. They are also known to graze on land sometimes but prefer to feed in the water as they are clumsy walkers.

The Black Swan prefers larger waterways and permanent wetlands. The Tuggerah Lakes are a key breeding habitat because it offers calm closed water with a large amount of available food. Outside the breeding season, Black Swans travel quite large distances. Birds fly at night and rest during the day with other swans.

Hardhead_4.jpg
Hardhead

All year round.

The Hardhead dives for their food, leaping forward and diving smoothly under the water. They eat aquatic plants and animals, particularly mussels and freshwater shellfish.

The Hardhead is a medium-sized duck which is found in freshwater swamps and wetlands and occasionally in sheltered estuaries. They are rarely seen on land and tend to roost on low branches and stumps near the water.

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Leaden Flycatcher

Spring to summer months.

The Leaden Flycatcher feeds on insects caught while on the wing or gleaned from foliage. They feed in the mid-canopy, darting from tree to tree in pairs or alone.

The Leaden Flycatcher is found in tall and medium open forests, mainly in coastal areas, preferring drier habitats.

Jack Gear Reserve Yarramalong
Name Best Seasons Tips Habitat
Longfinned Eel
Longfinned / Shortfinned Eel

Eels are more active at night time but can also be caught during the daytime. They are typically found all year round but will migrate upstream during large rainfall events.

Best way to catch Eels is by using a larger stronger type of bait and a heavy fishing line with a heavy trace. Bait could include mullet chunks, worms or even steak.

Eels are typically found in areas where there is structure in the water or undercut banks where they can hide.

Australian Bass
Australian Bass

Bass will migrate downstream to brackish water in autumn and winter to spawn but return back up stream during spring and summer to better feeding grounds. It is important not to fish for bass during breeding times; best times for fishing are the spring month when the cicadas are most prevalent.

Small lures are best for catching Bass. They are aggressive fish and are easiest caught on surface popper lures or shallow to medium diving lures. Best times to target Bass are when the cicadas are chirping in early summer. Cicadas often fall into the creeks and rivers where they become a major food source of the Bass. For best results use a lure that sits on the surface and cast around overhanging structure where a cicada would naturally fall into the water.

Bass prefer to hide around any structure in the water including trees, rocks and weed beds. However, they will also swim in open waters during the spring looking to ambush any insects that land on the water surface.

Karagi Point
Name Best Seasons Tips Habitat
Little_tern2.jpg
Little Tern

Summer months.

The Little Tern eats small fish, insects, crustaceans and other invertebrates.

The Little Tern is mainly a coastal species, being found on beaches, inlets, estuaries, lakes, sewage farms, lagoons, river mouths and deltas.

Red-capped_Plover_1.jpg
Red-capped Plover

All year round.

The Red-capped Plover feed on molluscs, small crustaceans and some vegetation, on mudflats, sandy beaches and saltmarsh areas around the Tuggerah Lakes.

The Red-capped Plover is found in coastal wetlands and lagoons. They prefer saline and brackish waters.

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Silver Gull

All year round.

Traditional food for Silver Gulls includes worms, fish, insects and crustaceans. However, As with many other gull species, the Silver Gull has become a successful scavenger. They regularly will take unattended food or are found searching for food in rubbish bins.

The Silver Gull is found at any watered habitat and is rarely seen far from land. They have become well adapted to urban environments but still rely on watered habitats for breeding.

McPherson rd. swamp
Name Best Seasons Tips Habitat
Black-necked_Stork_Christina_Port.jpg
Black-necked Stork

All year round.

The Black-necked Stork feeds on fish, small crustaceans and amphibians. Most prey is caught by the bird jabbing and seizing it with its large bill. Some food is caught by lunging forward with a large stride or by leaping into the air.

The Black-necked Stork inhabits wetlands, such as floodplains of rivers with large shallow swamps and pools, and deeper permanent bodies of water. Occasionally individuals will stray into open grass, woodland areas or flooded paddocks in search of food.

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Freckled Duck

All year round.

The Freckled Duck feeds at dawn and dusk and at night on algae, seeds and vegetative parts of aquatic grasses and sedges and small invertebrates.

The Freckled Duck prefers permanent fresh water swamps and creeks with heavy growth of bulrushes and tea-trees. During drier times, the Freckled Duck moves to more permanent waters such as lakes, reservoirs, farm dams and sewerage ponds. They generally rest in dense cover.

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Golden-headed Cisticola

All year round.

The Golden-headed Cisticola feeds on insects taken from the ground amongst tall grasses. They also feed on the seeds from the grasses among which they live.

The Golden-headed Cisticola lives in sub-coastal areas, wetlands, swamp margins, wet grasslands, rivers, and irrigated farmland. It prefers tangled vegetation close to the ground, but breeding males may be seen singing from tall weeds or other shrubs.

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Swamp Harrier

Summer to autumn months.

The Swamp Harrier hunts for birds and eggs, large insects, frogs, reptiles and small mammals up to the size of hares or rabbits. When hunting they search for prey by gliding low to the ground or water, then drop down on to their prey.

The Swamp Harrier is found in terrestrial wetlands and open country of tropical and temperate areas. It is mainly seen in fresh or salt wetlands, often in deep swamps with emergent reeds and over open water.

Ourimbah Creek
Name Best Seasons Tips Habitat
Yellowfin Bream
Yellowfin Bream and Tarwhine

In winter Yellowfin Bream and Tarwhine can be found in deeper water in sandy and rocky areas. In summer they prefer shallow water in sandy areas.

Small prawns or soft body lures are best to catch Yellowfin Bream and Tarwhine; however they are not fussy eaters and can be caught on most types of bait. It is best to take a variety of bait types and see what works best on the day. Chicken gut, bread, prawns and fish are good options.

Yellowfin Bream and Tarwhine prefer areas that have seagrass next to large structures like bridge pylons out of fast moving water.

Australian Bass
Australian Bass

Bass will migrate downstream to brackish water in autumn and winter to spawn but return back up stream during spring and summer to better feeding grounds. It is important not to fish for bass during breeding times; best times for fishing are the spring month when the cicadas are most prevalent.

Small lures are best for catching Bass. They are aggressive fish and are easiest caught on surface popper lures or shallow to medium diving lures. Best times to target Bass are when the cicadas are chirping in early summer. Cicadas often fall into the creeks and rivers where they become a major food source of the Bass. For best results use a lure that sits on the surface and cast around overhanging structure where a cicada would naturally fall into the water.

Bass prefer to hide around any structure in the water including trees, rocks and weed beds. However, they will also swim in open waters during the spring looking to ambush any insects that land on the water surface.

Sea Mullet
Sea Mullet

Sea Mullet can be found all year round but they are more active during autumn to early winter during their spawning season.

Sea Mullet are not very common to catch but are targeted by specialist anglers. They can be caught on a very small hook using worms or dough. However, this can be extremely difficult.

Sea Mullet prefer to live around shallow weed beds and bare substrates. However, they are a reasonably active species and will travel between fresh and saltwater depending on their age.

Regent_Bowerbird.jpg
Regent Bowerbird

All year round.

The Regent Bowerbird feeds mainly on fruit. It feeds in the canopy and upper layers of the forest and sometimes searchers for flying insects to catch.

The Regent Bowerbird is found in forests, particularly rainforest and densely treed gullies.

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Yellow-throated Scrubwren

All year round.

The Yellow-throated Scrubwren only feeds on the ground. They will forage for seeds, insects and other small invertebrates.

The Yellow-throated Scrubwren is found in wet, densely vegetated creek lands that provide plenty of sheltered habitat.

Estuary Perch
Estuary Perch

Estuary Perch will be more active during spring and summer due to an abundance of its food source at that time of the year.

Small lures are best for catching Estuary Perch. They are aggressive fish and are easiest caught on surface popper lures or shallow to medium diving lures. Best times to target Bass are when the cicadas are chirping in early summer. Cicadas often fall into the creeks and rivers where they become a major food source of the Bass. For best results use a lure that sits on the surface and cast around overhanging structure where a cicada would naturally fall into the water.

Similar to Bass, the Estuary Perch prefer to hide around any structure in the water including trees, rocks and weed beds. However, they will also swim in open waters during the spring looking to ambush any insects that land on the water surface.

Picnic Point
Name Best Seasons Tips Habitat
Yellowfin Bream
Yellowfin Bream and Tarwhine

In winter Yellowfin Bream and Tarwhine can be found in deeper water in sandy and rocky areas. In summer they prefer shallow water in sandy areas.

Small prawns or soft body lures are best to catch Yellowfin Bream and Tarwhine; however they are not fussy eaters and can be caught on most types of bait. It is best to take a variety of bait types and see what works best on the day. Chicken gut, bread, prawns and fish are good options.

Yellowfin Bream and Tarwhine prefer areas that have seagrass next to large structures like bridge pylons out of fast moving water.

Sand Whiting
Sand Whiting

Sand Whiting are most active in summer and early autumn at dawn or dusk. During the cooler months they head up the estuary and are not as active.

Sand Whiting are best caught on bait on a light rod. They are easily spooked by heavy rod set ups and it is advised to have a long trace, a small hook and a natural bait to avoid this. The best bait is a worm or saltwater nipper that covers the hook as these will look the most natural through the water.

Within the estuary Sand Whiting prefer the sandy areas where the water is a little bit deeper. They are easily spooked by human behaviour so they will usually only inhabit places that are free of activity.

Prawns
Prawns

The best time to catch prawns is just after dark in October or November and right through summer when the tide is running out.

Prawning is best at night time. The favoured technique is to use a small fishing net to catch the Prawns. A light can help attract the Prawns to the net. There is a combined recreational bag limit of 10L for all Prawn species.

While in their juvenile stages, Prawns prefer estuaries with soft muddy or sandy substrates with seagrass to shelter in. On nearing adult maturity they travel out to sea (up to 100km) to spawn.

Australian_Pelican_3_Christina_Port.jpg
Australian Pelican

All year round.

Australian Pelicans use their large bills as a net to capture fish. Their bills are extremely sensitive which allows them to find food in murky water. A flock will work together to herd fish into shallow waters where they can then be easily caught.

The Australian Pelican is found in waterways throughout Australia. They can move around over large distances looking for suitable habitat and an adequate supply of food.

Bar-tailed_Godwit_Chittaway_Christina_Port.jpg
Bar-tailed Godwit

Spring to summer months.

The Bar-tailed Godwit feeds on molluscs, worms and aquatic insects. They wade through the shallows or over exposed mudflats in groups of up to 30 birds. They will probe their long bills into the bottom to find food.

The Bar-tailed Godwit inhabits estuarine mudflats, beaches and mangroves. They are very social birds that are often found in large flocks.

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Chestnut Teal

All year round.

The Chestnut Teal eats seeds and insects, along with some vegetation, and molluscs and crustaceans in more coastal habitats. It mainly feeds at the waters edge during the rising tide, dabbling at food items being washed in.

The Chestnut Teal is found on wetlands and estuaries in coastal regions. It is one of the few ducks able to tolerate high salinity waters, although it still needs fresh water for drinking. It will also use open freshwater lakes, reservoirs and sewage ponds during dry seasons.

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Great Egret

All year round.

Great Egrets mostly feed on fish but will also consume aquatic insects, small reptiles, crustaceans, amphibians and molluscs.

The Great Egret prefers shallow water particularly when flowing. Often found in small flocks with other egret species.

Silver_Gull.jpg
Silver Gull

All year round.

Traditional food for Silver Gulls includes worms, fish, insects and crustaceans. However, As with many other gull species, the Silver Gull has become a successful scavenger. They regularly will take unattended food or are found searching for food in rubbish bins.

The Silver Gull is found at any watered habitat and is rarely seen far from land. They have become well adapted to urban environments but still rely on watered habitats for breeding.

Yellow_Rumped_Thornbill_Christina_Port.jpg
Yellow-rumped Thornbill

All year round.

The Yellow-rumped Thornbill mainly feeds on insects, but is also known to occasionally feed on seeds.

The Yellow-rumped Thornbill is found on the ground in open habitats, such as woodlands, forests, shrublands and grasslands with some trees.

Estuary Perch
Estuary Perch

Estuary Perch will be more active during spring and summer due to an abundance of its food source at that time of the year.

Small lures are best for catching Estuary Perch. They are aggressive fish and are easiest caught on surface popper lures or shallow to medium diving lures. Best times to target Bass are when the cicadas are chirping in early summer. Cicadas often fall into the creeks and rivers where they become a major food source of the Bass. For best results use a lure that sits on the surface and cast around overhanging structure where a cicada would naturally fall into the water.

Similar to Bass, the Estuary Perch prefer to hide around any structure in the water including trees, rocks and weed beds. However, they will also swim in open waters during the spring looking to ambush any insects that land on the water surface.

Spring Creek
Name Best Seasons Tips Habitat
Australasian_Darter_Christina_Port.jpg
Australasian Darter

All year round.

The Australasian Darter catches fish with its sharp bill partly open while diving in water deeper than 60 cm. The fish is pierced from underneath, flicked onto the waters surface and then swallowed head first.

The Australasian Darter is found in wetlands and sheltered coastal waters, mainly in the Tropics and Subtropics. It prefers smooth, open waters, for feeding, with tree trunks, branches, stumps or posts fringing the water, for resting and drying its wings.

Azure_Kingfisher_Daniel_McKeon.jpg
Azure Kingfisher

all year round

The Azure Kingfisher will plunge from overhanging trees or shrubs into water to catch its prey. Fish, crustaceans, aquatic insects and other invertebrates are the dominate food sources for them.

The Azure Kingfisher inhabits areas near a water source that has shady overhanging vegetation. They are common around freshwater rivers and creeks, billabongs, lakes, swamps and sometimes dams east of the great dividing range in NSW.

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Black Bittern

All year round.

Black Bitterns feed on a wide range of small animals, but mainly fish and amphibians. They stalk prey slowly or stand and wait for prey to emerge, but may sometimes plunge at it from a perch, before stabbing it with their sharp bills.

Black Bitterns roost and nest in trees, and are found in tree-lined wetlands. They forage in both daylight and darkness, mainly from shady trees over water, but may be seen during the day in open areas of short marshy vegetation and along creeks in shrubby vegetation.

Brown_Goshawk.jpg
Brown Goshawk

all year round

The Brown Goshawk feeds on small mammals, with rabbits a particularly important prey item, as well as birds, reptiles and insects and sometimes, carrion (dead animals). They hunt stealthily from a low, concealed perch, using sudden, short bursts of speed to pounce onto prey.

The Brown Goshawk is found in most timbered habitats.

Double-barred_Finch_2.jpg
Double-barred Finch

All year round.

The Double-barred Finch feeds on the ground. They will consume seeds normally and insects as well during breeding. They will usually feeds in groups of up to 40 birds.

The Double-barred Finch prefers dry grassy woodlands and scrublands, open forests and farmlands that are close to water.

Little_Pied_Cormorant_Microcarbo_melanoleucos_2.jpg
Little Pied Cormorant

All year round.

The Little Pied Cormorant feeds on a wide variety of aquatic animals, from insects to fish. On inland streams and dams they turn to their most favoured food: yabbies (freshwater crayfish).

The Little Pied Cormorant is at home in either fresh or saltwater. It is often seen in large flocks on open waterways and on the coast, especially where large numbers of fish are present.

Terilbah Island
Name Best Seasons Tips Habitat
Yellowfin Bream
Yellowfin Bream and Tarwhine

In winter Yellowfin Bream and Tarwhine can be found in deeper water in sandy and rocky areas. In summer they prefer shallow water in sandy areas.

Small prawns or soft body lures are best to catch Yellowfin Bream and Tarwhine; however they are not fussy eaters and can be caught on most types of bait. It is best to take a variety of bait types and see what works best on the day. Chicken gut, bread, prawns and fish are good options.

Yellowfin Bream and Tarwhine prefer areas that have seagrass next to large structures like bridge pylons out of fast moving water.

Dusky Flathead
Dusky Flathead

Dusky Flathead are more active in the warmer months. This increased activity is due to their breeding season. They are less active in winter months but do not migrate so they are still present.

Soft plastic lures cast over a sea floor drop off area or estuary channel and then retrieved back is one of the best fishing actions to catch Dusky Flathead. This results in the fish ambushing the lure like it’s a prawn or small fish swimming to shallow water for shelter.

Dusky Flathead typically live in the benthic zone which is the zone located at the very bottom of a lake or estuary. They prefer soft substrates including sand, mud and seagrass areas.

Sand Whiting
Sand Whiting

Sand Whiting are most active in summer and early autumn at dawn or dusk. During the cooler months they head up the estuary and are not as active.

Sand Whiting are best caught on bait on a light rod. They are easily spooked by heavy rod set ups and it is advised to have a long trace, a small hook and a natural bait to avoid this. The best bait is a worm or saltwater nipper that covers the hook as these will look the most natural through the water.

Within the estuary Sand Whiting prefer the sandy areas where the water is a little bit deeper. They are easily spooked by human behaviour so they will usually only inhabit places that are free of activity.

Prawns
Prawns

The best time to catch prawns is just after dark in October or November and right through summer when the tide is running out.

Prawning is best at night time. The favoured technique is to use a small fishing net to catch the Prawns. A light can help attract the Prawns to the net. There is a combined recreational bag limit of 10L for all Prawn species.

While in their juvenile stages, Prawns prefer estuaries with soft muddy or sandy substrates with seagrass to shelter in. On nearing adult maturity they travel out to sea (up to 100km) to spawn.

Terilbah Reserve
Name Best Seasons Tips Habitat
Black_Swan.JPG
Black Swan

All year round.

The Black Swan is a vegetarian. Their diet consists of algae and weeds. They are able to gather this by plunging their long neck into water up to 1m deep. They are also known to graze on land sometimes but prefer to feed in the water as they are clumsy walkers.

The Black Swan prefers larger waterways and permanent wetlands. The Tuggerah Lakes are a key breeding habitat because it offers calm closed water with a large amount of available food. Outside the breeding season, Black Swans travel quite large distances. Birds fly at night and rest during the day with other swans.

Eastern Osprey

All year round.

The Eastern Osprey mainly feeds on medium sized live fish. They will search for fish close to the water surface and plunge down once they sight their prey. They will hit the water feet first and grab fish with their talons before flying off with it. The Eastern Osprey will not swallow the fish whole, but rip it apart to eat.

The Eastern Osprey is a costal bird found typically in wetlands of tropical and temperate Australia. In the Tuggerah Lakes catchment they will occasionally be found along inland rivers but are normally found only around the Tuggerah Lakes wetlands.

Greenshank.jpg
Greenshank

Spring to autumn months.

The Greenshank diet consists of insects, worms, molluscs, small fish and crustaceans. They will feed during the day and night by picking from the surface, probing, sweeping and lunging at the edges of mudflats or shallows.

The Greenshank is found both on the coast and inland. They prefer to be around anywhere that has low lying water including in estuaries and mudflats, saltmarsh areas, lagoons, and billabongs.

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Striated Heron

All year round.

The Striated Herons dominant food source consists of crustaceans, molluscs and small fish. They will stalk their prey by waiting in the water or plunging from an overhanging tree by stabbing it with their sharp bill.

The Striated Heron will inhabit mudflats and saltmarsh areas where there is an abundance of food and shallow water.

The Entrance
Name Best Seasons Tips Habitat
Luderick
Luderick

Most Luderick are caught in the winter months. Generally the afternoons are best but mornings can also have good results.

Long, flexible rods, very small hooks and pencil floats are commonly used, with green weed the preferred bait. Luderick can be a difficult species to catch.

Luderick typically live in rocky areas, near pylons or around seagrass in schools. They live in water up to 20m deep and swim up rivers and creeks in their juvenile years.

Sea Mullet
Sea Mullet

Sea Mullet can be found all year round but they are more active during autumn to early winter during their spawning season.

Sea Mullet are not very common to catch but are targeted by specialist anglers. They can be caught on a very small hook using worms or dough. However, this can be extremely difficult.

Sea Mullet prefer to live around shallow weed beds and bare substrates. However, they are a reasonably active species and will travel between fresh and saltwater depending on their age.

Tailor
Tailor

Tailor become more active during dawn or dusk when they are looking for food around the entrance to the estuary or estuary channels.

Most Tailor can be caught on hard bodied, shallow to medium diving lures or with bait. The best bait to attract Tailor is pilchards or prawns as these are common food sources for them.

Tailor inhabits bays and estuaries as juveniles and generally moves to rocky headlands and the surf zone of beaches as adults. The tailer found in the Tuggerah Lakes are therefore most likely to be juveniles however, adults do on occasions enter estuaries in search of small school fish.

Sand Whiting
Sand Whiting

Sand Whiting are most active in summer and early autumn at dawn or dusk. During the cooler months they head up the estuary and are not as active.

Sand Whiting are best caught on bait on a light rod. They are easily spooked by heavy rod set ups and it is advised to have a long trace, a small hook and a natural bait to avoid this. The best bait is a worm or saltwater nipper that covers the hook as these will look the most natural through the water.

Within the estuary Sand Whiting prefer the sandy areas where the water is a little bit deeper. They are easily spooked by human behaviour so they will usually only inhabit places that are free of activity.

Prawns
Prawns

The best time to catch prawns is just after dark in October or November and right through summer when the tide is running out.

Prawning is best at night time. The favoured technique is to use a small fishing net to catch the Prawns. A light can help attract the Prawns to the net. There is a combined recreational bag limit of 10L for all Prawn species.

While in their juvenile stages, Prawns prefer estuaries with soft muddy or sandy substrates with seagrass to shelter in. On nearing adult maturity they travel out to sea (up to 100km) to spawn.

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Australian Pelican

All year round.

Australian Pelicans use their large bills as a net to capture fish. Their bills are extremely sensitive which allows them to find food in murky water. A flock will work together to herd fish into shallow waters where they can then be easily caught.

The Australian Pelican is found in waterways throughout Australia. They can move around over large distances looking for suitable habitat and an adequate supply of food.

Pied_Cormorant_.jpg
Pied Cormorant

All year round.

The Pied Cormorant mainly feeds on fish, but will also take crustaceans and molluscs. Like other cormorants, it catches prey underwater, by diving and swimming using its large, fully webbed feet for propulsion.

The Pied Cormorant is found in marine habitats including estuaries, harbours and bays. It is also found in mangroves and on large inland wetlands in Eastern Australia.

The Entrance Channel
Name Best Seasons Tips Habitat
Australian_Pelican_3_Christina_Port.jpg
Australian Pelican

All year round.

Australian Pelicans use their large bills as a net to capture fish. Their bills are extremely sensitive which allows them to find food in murky water. A flock will work together to herd fish into shallow waters where they can then be easily caught.

The Australian Pelican is found in waterways throughout Australia. They can move around over large distances looking for suitable habitat and an adequate supply of food.

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Bar-tailed Godwit

Spring to summer months.

The Bar-tailed Godwit feeds on molluscs, worms and aquatic insects. They wade through the shallows or over exposed mudflats in groups of up to 30 birds. They will probe their long bills into the bottom to find food.

The Bar-tailed Godwit inhabits estuarine mudflats, beaches and mangroves. They are very social birds that are often found in large flocks.

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Great Cormorant

All year round.

The Great Cormorant will predominantly feed on fish. However, they will also eat crustaceans, aquatic insects and frogs.

The Great Cormorant is found commonly around estuaries and coastal inlets. They will live in areas that have permanent water across most of Australia.

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Sooty Oystercatcher

All year round.

As their name would suggest the Sooty Oystercatcher feeds on molluscs, crabs and other crustaceans, marine worms and small fish. It will stab at prey or to lever, prise or hammer open food items with its long bill. Interestingly they only drink seawater.

The Sooty Oystercatcher is strictly a coastal species, usually within 50m of the ocean. It prefers rocky shores, but will be seen on coral reefs or sandy beaches near mudflats.

Toukley bridge
Name Best Seasons Tips Habitat
Yellowfin Bream
Yellowfin Bream and Tarwhine

In winter Yellowfin Bream and Tarwhine can be found in deeper water in sandy and rocky areas. In summer they prefer shallow water in sandy areas.

Small prawns or soft body lures are best to catch Yellowfin Bream and Tarwhine; however they are not fussy eaters and can be caught on most types of bait. It is best to take a variety of bait types and see what works best on the day. Chicken gut, bread, prawns and fish are good options.

Yellowfin Bream and Tarwhine prefer areas that have seagrass next to large structures like bridge pylons out of fast moving water.

Dusky Flathead
Dusky Flathead

Dusky Flathead are more active in the warmer months. This increased activity is due to their breeding season. They are less active in winter months but do not migrate so they are still present.

Soft plastic lures cast over a sea floor drop off area or estuary channel and then retrieved back is one of the best fishing actions to catch Dusky Flathead. This results in the fish ambushing the lure like it’s a prawn or small fish swimming to shallow water for shelter.

Dusky Flathead typically live in the benthic zone which is the zone located at the very bottom of a lake or estuary. They prefer soft substrates including sand, mud and seagrass areas.

Luderick
Luderick

Most Luderick are caught in the winter months. Generally the afternoons are best but mornings can also have good results.

Long, flexible rods, very small hooks and pencil floats are commonly used, with green weed the preferred bait. Luderick can be a difficult species to catch.

Luderick typically live in rocky areas, near pylons or around seagrass in schools. They live in water up to 20m deep and swim up rivers and creeks in their juvenile years.

Tailor
Tailor

Tailor become more active during dawn or dusk when they are looking for food around the entrance to the estuary or estuary channels.

Most Tailor can be caught on hard bodied, shallow to medium diving lures or with bait. The best bait to attract Tailor is pilchards or prawns as these are common food sources for them.

Tailor inhabits bays and estuaries as juveniles and generally moves to rocky headlands and the surf zone of beaches as adults. The tailer found in the Tuggerah Lakes are therefore most likely to be juveniles however, adults do on occasions enter estuaries in search of small school fish.

Garfish
Garfish

Garfish are most active just before winter continuing until spring. They have been known to be caught when the tide is running out or during periods of high discharge from the estuary inlets.

Bait fishing is a great method for catching Garfish. Small bits of bread and small hooks will work best.

Garfish school near the surface at night and over weed and seagrass beds during the day.

Tuggerah nature reserve
Name Best Seasons Tips Habitat
Regent_Honeyeater_2.jpg
Regent Honeyeater

Autumn to winter months.

The Regent Honeyeater feeds mostly on nectar and other plant sugars. It will also feed on insects, spiders and fruit. It forages in flowers or foliage, but sometimes comes down to the ground to bathe in puddles.

The Regent Honeyeater is found in Eucalypt forests and woodlands, particularly in blossoming trees. It is also seen in orchards and urban gardens.

Swift_Parrot_Christina_Port.jpg
Swift Parrots

Winter months.

The Swift Parrot mostly feeds on flowering eucalypts nectar, as well as some psyllid bugs, seeds and flowers. They are active and agile when feeding where they are often found hanging upside down.

The Swift Parrot is found in hard leaf forests and woodlands, parks and gardens. They will often be found in trees that have flowering fruit. They prefer dryer coastal areas.

White-throated_Gerygone_2.jpg
White-throated Gerygone

Spring to summer months.

The White-throated Gerygone feeds in trees on insects, beetles, flies and other arthropods.

The White-throated Gerygone is found in open Eucalypt woodlands and forests. They will be found close to creeks, rivers and wetlands with densely planted vegetation.

Tuggerah sewage treatment plant
Name Best Seasons Tips Habitat
Australasian_Darter_Christina_Port.jpg
Australasian Darter

All year round.

The Australasian Darter catches fish with its sharp bill partly open while diving in water deeper than 60 cm. The fish is pierced from underneath, flicked onto the waters surface and then swallowed head first.

The Australasian Darter is found in wetlands and sheltered coastal waters, mainly in the Tropics and Subtropics. It prefers smooth, open waters, for feeding, with tree trunks, branches, stumps or posts fringing the water, for resting and drying its wings.

Hardhead_4.jpg
Hardhead

All year round.

The Hardhead dives for their food, leaping forward and diving smoothly under the water. They eat aquatic plants and animals, particularly mussels and freshwater shellfish.

The Hardhead is a medium-sized duck which is found in freshwater swamps and wetlands and occasionally in sheltered estuaries. They are rarely seen on land and tend to roost on low branches and stumps near the water.

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Musk Duck

All year round.

Musk Ducks are excellent divers, and search underwater for the majority of their food. They mainly feed on animals, including aquatic insects, crustaceans, snails, shellfish, fish, frogs and ducklings, but some seeds of aquatic plants are also eaten on occasion.

Musk Ducks tend to be found in deep freshwater lagoons, with dense reed beds. They are normally seen singly or in pairs, but may form medium to large groups in the winter.

White-breasted_Woodswallow_3.jpg
White-breasted Woodswallow

All year round.

The White-breasted Woodswallow feeds on insects, catching them on the wing. They will also forage on the ground or in canopy. They can also feed on nectar from flowers with its divided, brush-tipped tongue.

The White-breasted Woodswallow is found in Eucalypt forests and woodlands, usually close to water, and in mangroves or saltmarsh areas.

Wyong River- Below the Weir
Name Best Seasons Tips Habitat
Yellowfin Bream
Yellowfin Bream and Tarwhine

In winter Yellowfin Bream and Tarwhine can be found in deeper water in sandy and rocky areas. In summer they prefer shallow water in sandy areas.

Small prawns or soft body lures are best to catch Yellowfin Bream and Tarwhine; however they are not fussy eaters and can be caught on most types of bait. It is best to take a variety of bait types and see what works best on the day. Chicken gut, bread, prawns and fish are good options.

Yellowfin Bream and Tarwhine prefer areas that have seagrass next to large structures like bridge pylons out of fast moving water.

Dusky Flathead
Dusky Flathead

Dusky Flathead are more active in the warmer months. This increased activity is due to their breeding season. They are less active in winter months but do not migrate so they are still present.

Soft plastic lures cast over a sea floor drop off area or estuary channel and then retrieved back is one of the best fishing actions to catch Dusky Flathead. This results in the fish ambushing the lure like it’s a prawn or small fish swimming to shallow water for shelter.

Dusky Flathead typically live in the benthic zone which is the zone located at the very bottom of a lake or estuary. They prefer soft substrates including sand, mud and seagrass areas.

Longfinned Eel
Longfinned / Shortfinned Eel

Eels are more active at night time but can also be caught during the daytime. They are typically found all year round but will migrate upstream during large rainfall events.

Best way to catch Eels is by using a larger stronger type of bait and a heavy fishing line with a heavy trace. Bait could include mullet chunks, worms or even steak.

Eels are typically found in areas where there is structure in the water or undercut banks where they can hide.

Australian Bass
Australian Bass

Bass will migrate downstream to brackish water in autumn and winter to spawn but return back up stream during spring and summer to better feeding grounds. It is important not to fish for bass during breeding times; best times for fishing are the spring month when the cicadas are most prevalent.

Small lures are best for catching Bass. They are aggressive fish and are easiest caught on surface popper lures or shallow to medium diving lures. Best times to target Bass are when the cicadas are chirping in early summer. Cicadas often fall into the creeks and rivers where they become a major food source of the Bass. For best results use a lure that sits on the surface and cast around overhanging structure where a cicada would naturally fall into the water.

Bass prefer to hide around any structure in the water including trees, rocks and weed beds. However, they will also swim in open waters during the spring looking to ambush any insects that land on the water surface.

Estuary Perch
Estuary Perch

Estuary Perch will be more active during spring and summer due to an abundance of its food source at that time of the year.

Small lures are best for catching Estuary Perch. They are aggressive fish and are easiest caught on surface popper lures or shallow to medium diving lures. Best times to target Bass are when the cicadas are chirping in early summer. Cicadas often fall into the creeks and rivers where they become a major food source of the Bass. For best results use a lure that sits on the surface and cast around overhanging structure where a cicada would naturally fall into the water.

Similar to Bass, the Estuary Perch prefer to hide around any structure in the water including trees, rocks and weed beds. However, they will also swim in open waters during the spring looking to ambush any insects that land on the water surface.

Wyong River- Tacoma
Name Best Seasons Tips Habitat
Yellowfin Bream
Yellowfin Bream and Tarwhine

In winter Yellowfin Bream and Tarwhine can be found in deeper water in sandy and rocky areas. In summer they prefer shallow water in sandy areas.

Small prawns or soft body lures are best to catch Yellowfin Bream and Tarwhine; however they are not fussy eaters and can be caught on most types of bait. It is best to take a variety of bait types and see what works best on the day. Chicken gut, bread, prawns and fish are good options.

Yellowfin Bream and Tarwhine prefer areas that have seagrass next to large structures like bridge pylons out of fast moving water.

Dusky Flathead
Dusky Flathead

Dusky Flathead are more active in the warmer months. This increased activity is due to their breeding season. They are less active in winter months but do not migrate so they are still present.

Soft plastic lures cast over a sea floor drop off area or estuary channel and then retrieved back is one of the best fishing actions to catch Dusky Flathead. This results in the fish ambushing the lure like it’s a prawn or small fish swimming to shallow water for shelter.

Dusky Flathead typically live in the benthic zone which is the zone located at the very bottom of a lake or estuary. They prefer soft substrates including sand, mud and seagrass areas.

Longfinned Eel
Longfinned / Shortfinned Eel

Eels are more active at night time but can also be caught during the daytime. They are typically found all year round but will migrate upstream during large rainfall events.

Best way to catch Eels is by using a larger stronger type of bait and a heavy fishing line with a heavy trace. Bait could include mullet chunks, worms or even steak.

Eels are typically found in areas where there is structure in the water or undercut banks where they can hide.

Sea Mullet
Sea Mullet

Sea Mullet can be found all year round but they are more active during autumn to early winter during their spawning season.

Sea Mullet are not very common to catch but are targeted by specialist anglers. They can be caught on a very small hook using worms or dough. However, this can be extremely difficult.

Sea Mullet prefer to live around shallow weed beds and bare substrates. However, they are a reasonably active species and will travel between fresh and saltwater depending on their age.