Introduced Fish… What Damage is Done?

Introduced fish have a terrible affect on not just the Murray River, but many different water sources around the world!
 From the 18th century early colonisers began introducing a number of exotic species including mammals,plants,birds and fish. The introduction of the fish has led to serious damage, most common being the effect of common carp in the Mallee Darling Bason. Introduced carp now dominate the freshwater systems of Southern Australia. While the damaging impact of carp is well recognised, little in the way of control measures have been put ahead to control their spread. Their ability to colonise almost any body of water, even those previously considered to be beyond their physical tolerances, is now well established. Control of exotic fish species is being undertaken by various government departments, though many problems are faced.

Introduced trout species dominate the upland reaches of rivers in south-east Australian, and have had profoundly negatively effects on upland native fish like the mountain galaxias species, Macquarie perch and the unfortunately named trout cod, but due to their popularity as sportsfish, lack of historical records, and loss of angling memories, their damaging effects are not widely acknowledged, or even downplayed.

All recently established exotic fish in Australia stem from the illegal release of aquarium fish species. With the continued and largely uncontrolled importation of many high risk fish species for the aquarium industry, Australia continues to be at risk of further invasions of exotic fish.

This is a list of all known introduced fish in Australia.

I believe that Carp need to be controlled!



Dogs On Leads?

This was my letter to Councillor Sharon Morrison:

 I am very strongly against the new law that is forcing dogs to wear leashes everywhere outside of their homes. I think that it is very unfair to them because usually, going out of their territory is a treat to them, so what is the point if you’re just going to drag them around a park that they aren’t allowed to run around in?   

How are you supposed to have fun playing games like fetch, if they are being controlled by the owner?

Lots of people complain about dog poo going into the river from parks, but I, personally, don’t think that dogs could grow arms and pick it up themselves! That is the owner’s responsibility, and people say ‘What if we don’t see them poo?’ Well, I think that a responsible dog owner wouldn’t let their dog out of their sight

 There might be a high rate of dog attacks in Mildura, but did you think about the dog’s side of the story? Dogs don’t just attack people for the fun of it. For example, it is like a school yard fight. Somebody is always to blame, but not necessarily the fighter. In most cases with dog attacks, there are children involved and they throw rocks, provoke them and most people will run. Don’t they know that dogs chase anything that runs? Dogs don’t mean to hurt people; they are only having fun…trust me. I have a Rottweiler and she is really big. Everyday I come out into the backyard with her, she is very excited and she jumps on me. Sure, it hurts, but she doesn’t mean to hurt me! She is only being playful. People have to understand the difference.

Although I disagree that dogs should be put on leads everywhere, I don’t think that they should be allowed to run in really public places, such as malls and sporting ovals. I am suggesting a special park be made for dogs to play and have fun without the worry of them attacking people or anything along those lines.

 I believe that dogs should have their freedom and have a great time outdoors.



You can help them!

I look all around me,
I look up at the sky.
Big old trees look down at me,
They’re all going to die.

Some people just don’t understand,
Just how much they need.
Some of them are massive,
But it all started with a seed.

They need our wasted water,
All that goes down the drain.
We have to help right now,
They can’t depend on rain.

We’ve thought of an answer,
For all these poor, poor trees.
We are the one’s to blame,
But it’s more than you and me.

People need to pull their weight,
To keep us all alive.
Without these precious trees,
None of us can survive!

All you have to do,
Is takes some time to care.
Provide them with some water,
Don’t leave the tree trunks bare.

It affects other things too,
Like animals, plants and more.
I personally think,
It’s worse than starting war.

Reduce, re use, recycle,
It’s not very hard to do.
We cannot miss this chance,
If I can do it, so can you!

Can you save the world?
You might not think so.
But if we all worked together,
The answer wouldn’t be ‘no!’

If you really care,
Prove it to the world.

By Mikaela


Advertising for the Mini Fete!

Hi, it’s Mikaela!
A lot of people in my class have been wondering about advertising for our Mini Fete!
I also got a great comment from a girl called Tracy who needed some ideas for her own stall.
For advertising, you can put it in newspapers, school newsletters, etc.
You can’t just write, for example:
Mini Fete. Come along on the 21st August. It’ll be fun.

You need to add description. You need to persuade the customers so that they become interested in your stall.

Another example: Grab your friends and save the date for the Mildura West Primary School Mini Fete! Explore the different stalls and win fantabulous prizes from a wide variety! All the fun is going to happen on the 21st of August! See you there!

I hope that I have given you some ideas and you raise lots of money during your fundraising! Good luck and have fun!


Wallpolla Island!


On the 22nd of July, Brendan Rodgers gave the Environmental Team a tour around Wallpolla Island. As we arrived, we crossed onto the island where water used to block the way. There were rocks on the ground and Mr. Rodgers explained that all the water had dried up because of the terrible drought.

We asked some questions about the surroundings and Mr. Rodgers gave us some interesting answers. He told us that the biggest tree in the area was over 300 years old! The really sad thing was; it was dying. Almost all of the trees were dead or dying and therefore, the wildlife was scarce.

Mr. Rodgers was in charge of emergency watering which means that if the area is at a horrendous dying rate, he flooded the area with an environmental water allocation. All the water in the creeks and surrounding the Wallpolla Island is pumped there from the Murray River.

We looked at carp traps and at the joining part of the Murray. We stopped to have lunch overlooking the Murray as Mr. Rodgers explained some other interesting things.


Our Waste Wise Mini Fete!

Our Year 5/6’s are currently organising a Waste Wise Mini Fete!
A Waste Wise Event (WWE)  is an event that is totally waste wise and safe for the environment!
To plan a WWE, we are coming up with lots of great ideas which you can read below:

  • Separate bins for Cans, Rubbish and Recycling
  • Public Posters
  • Computer Advertisements
  • Newsletters
  • Brochures
  • Email
  • Newspapers
  • School Posters
  • Signs
  • Slogans, quotes

The customers attending the fete will be notified of maps showing bins around the school. There will be more posters around the school for the customers to have a look at.
To let people know our mini fete is waste wise, we could add slogans to our posters that display the environmental needs that are presented in our Mini Fete.
We would need to tell lots of people such as family, friends, workers, kids, etc.

We hope you can attend our Waste Wise Mini Fete and support us in caring for the environment!



A Fingerling’s Life!

I opened my eyes for the first time. All I could see was white.
I turned around to see if there were any other colours but it all was white.
I started to fret. Was I trapped? I was scared.

As soon as I thought there was no point in living if everything was white, a flood of nice, cool blue flooded in through a crack in the dreaded whiteness. There was something grey that kept pecking at the white stuff and it made a terrible cracking noise as I started to see more of the world. I realised that (I was really stupid not to know!) I was in an egg when a familiar voice screamed, “Do something! It’s going to kill my babies!” Soon there was a loud ‘CRACK’ as the egg fell apart and I was swept away in a tide. Then everything went black!

I woke up in some disgusting, multicoloured slime and I didn’t realise that I was in the stomach of my saviour. The barracuda that freed me from the white egg case! It was all gross! There was nothing but darkness but I had this feeling I wasn’t alone. Something grabbed my little fin and I fell into a hole of swirling slime.

Soon, I was swept out of the barracuda’s mouth as it breathed slowly. I was free! It was beautiful. I saw corals of all sorts, and a beautiful rainbow reef! It seemed like every fish of every colour was everywhere! I couldn’t help myself; I had to get closer to the beautiful colours of the ocean! It was like a trance!

I didn’t know that I didn’t belong in the ocean. When I was a little dot in an egg, I got washed through the mouth of the Murray River at Goolwa and into the sea! I was mixed up with Puffer Fish eggs and they had become my new family. I didn’t know that I was a Murray Cod fingerling!

The ocean was a dangerous place for a fingerling, where danger lurked in every shadow. Just waiting… waiting for a chance to snatch a yummy snack! At that moment, I was happy though. Everything was bright and cheery. I thought that everything couldn’t have been any better but I guess so was the barracuda that was hiding in amongst a pile of rocks.

It took only a split second for the long, sharp teeth to sink into my right fin, only just missing out on eating me whole. I was too fast for it, but its long teeth scraped along my side, clamping shut on my fin, determined not to let go.

One moment I was in total shock, paralysed, and the next moment a wave of fear and pain washed over my body like a dark shadow. I realised that it wasn’t just pain washing over me, there actually was a shadow creeping along the surface.

The barracuda let go of me painfully and darted away as fast as its jaws found me. I looked up to see the shape of a small boat, which, of course, was new to me. As I was scanning the boat for any strange movement, I got a strange feeling; like a shock going through me. I couldn’t move! I wasn’t scared or anything, I physically couldn’t move!

I started rising. The sight of the surface started to get closer and closer. That was when I started to get scared. What if I reached the top and I still couldn’t move? I tried and tried to move! I couldn’t even feel my fins! I realised that I could only move my head and got a glimpse of other fish rising to the surface. I could see movement on the surface but the unnatural ripples blurred my vision. I finally reached the surface.

My head bobbed above the surface and I saw an ‘air breather’ (man) sitting in the brown boat. It seemed to be muttering something to itself and writing something on a clip board. I struggled to breathe and dunked my head under the water long enough for me to take a quick breath. As I left the water again, I noticed that birds were gathering, perching on tree branches and ‘licking their beaks.’ I almost thought that the ‘grins’ the birds wore on their faces would be the last things I would ever see. I only narrowly escaped!

As the ‘air breather’ began to lose interest, the birds became restless, waiting for him to leave. One unlucky bird swooped too low towards a fish near the boat and got a nasty knock on the head from the ‘air breather’s’ clipboard.
The next bird was lucky and I think that it ate the barracuda that had nipped my fin!
Ha, ha, ha! Well, he deserved it! But I was still on the surface, easy prey! As the ‘air breather’ saw that other birds were copying the leader, it pulled out a small black remote, with 50 million wires attached to it, and pressed a small red button. My whole body went numb and my vision went blurry. I was passing out from the air, but I was sinking. I COULD MOVE AGAIN!

I woke up in darkness. I felt that I was about to be crushed from the pressure of the deep. It felt so heavy and I wondered how whales and creatures of the dark could adapt to the pressure! Ouch, I touched something prickly from behind. Aaaaaaaaaaah! It blew up in my face! A puffer fish! Oh, no!
I was stuck to it as the poison slowly entered my blood veins. Life was being drowned out of me like a wet sponge being squeezed! Everything went blurry and I passed out. I can’t believe that I actually woke up after being injected with the poison from one of those…uh…what do you call them? It’s coming to me…Hold on, hold on ….. uh hu I know, octopus!!
No…wait, that isn’t it… was it? Aaah, thank-you…it’s a Puffer Fish!
(I swear, I knew it all along, I was just joking!) Is it just me or am I going mentally INSANE!? I can’t believe that I am floating here, thinking of what the ridiculous fish’s name is that all most killed me! Hey, I am floating! I’m still alive! This must be a world record, surviving poison of a silly fish!
Ouch! I tried to move. I looked at my side and saw that it had turned purple!
I know why I am still alive! The saliva from the barracuda attack must have some sort of protection! I really can’t beleve I am saying this, but, ‘Thank-you, Barracuda, for attacking me!’

One of the spines from the fish was still in my little fin! Ouch, it hurt soooo much!
I needed help. Well there’s only one way to get it… ‘HELP. I AM WOUNDED! HELP’
Well, that got everybody’s attention. Not in a good way.
‘Ah…Everyone seemed to attack at once, probably thinking, ‘Yummy, yummy snack. This little shrimp must be from inland! He’s so unwise to tell everyone at the top of his voice that he is sick and most likely dying. Perfect prey’
I darted out of the group. Hey, and they think I’m brainless! They’re ripping each other to shreds and I’m just standing there watching! Talk about dim witted!
I decided that someone might see me so I left quickly, hiding in sea weed and coral, dodging basking sharks.

Woo hoo. I was surfing a current! It was so dreamy, pulling me into a long, peaceful sleep! EEEEW! I woke up in murky, disgusting water. Where did the beautiful corals and reefs go? I need to get out of here! Where am I? Which way do I go?
Who would make this water so disgusting? I saw a fish doing something really weird on the sand. As I got closer, I was disgusted. This filthy fish was like a vacuum cleaner, sucking up everything that got in the way, but then spitting out a foul and disgusting substance I am guessing what it ate for lunch last week!

I need to get out of this place! I got the fright of my life as something bright red roared over the surface, leaving a trail of bubbles and thick, oozing oil behind! It was exactly like the thing that ‘air breather’ was in when I was paralysed, only it had something on the back that made all the bubbles!

The oil covered me as I tried to escape the blackness that I had fallen into so many times before! Blinded, I darted in a direction as fast as I could, the oil peeling off my face. I looked up, but instead of black, there was a bluey-green thing seeping across the surface. It looked furry. Unpleasant and slimy! All the more reason to get out of here!

Hang on a sec! The water has changed. It seems so close to air, but I am 3-4 metres beneath the surface. The oxygen level was dropping and I didn’t know why.
I swam 20 metres away from where the slime was covering the surface, but it was seeping everywhere from all angles. I was trapped! It was getting hard to breathe. I took big gulps through my gills but my sight began to go fuzzy. I fled to the top of the water and dived out into the air just as I felt my body was going to explode.

I landed with a splash and the slime covered my scales. I was stranded, above air.
What is this stuff? Its blue-green. . . . . . . ALGAE!
I am not smart or anything, however it said it on the sign on the sand over there…



Oh, oh!


There are so many reasons I need to get out of here and I just happen to be stuck in Blue Green Algae! Hang on, I can read!
I stopped breathing.
Still Black.
I am not going to wake up this time. . . . . .
Wait a second. . . OUCH!
Be careful with me for goodness sake!
Wait, that hurt!
Hmmmmm, I didn’t think that being dead would hurt, but I guess ‘death’ doesn’t sound peaceful. I am thinking, I can’t be dead because you can’t be thinking that you aren’t dead if you are dead!
I think I tipped off the psycho scale right about when I said ‘… I can’t be dead because…..’ Yes. I’m not silly. I know that you think I am totally whacko!
I agree!
Ok. I’m alive but I see nothing but black, but I can feel pain!
Where does that get me?
Crazy scale 9.9?
Open eyes! My brain screamed at me but my mind suddenly went blank and I didn’t remember how to open my eyes. Were my eyes all ready open? I think that they read minds.
More ‘air breathers’ stared down at me and I was almost blinded by the light.
They had uncovered the plastic bag that had been carrying me out of the disgusting Blue Green Algae and into clear, fresh water.
The bag was suddenly untied and I felt myself falling, falling… ‘PLOP’ I landed in a mini pool of water except much cleaner and there was no Blue Green Algae floating around.
Wow. I loved this place, but there were so many ‘air breathers’ staring at me.
It freaked me out! I am not a Museum Artefact! I dove down deep, hiding behind some green weed. I wish they would stop staring at me! I went closer to the surface to see if they were gone, but there seemed to be even more. I fled to hide again but found myself swimming into another bag. I got the same feeling as before. The feeling that I was trapped! I tried to swim through the opening of the bag, but it had closed. I pushed against it, rising to the top, hoping a bird would come and attempt to snatch me up but then get the bag off. There were no birds in sight.
I was floating to the edge of the mini ocean thing, and the next thing I knew, I was stuck in a net and being pulled out of the water. I can’t believe how many times I have been close to death. Here it happens yet again.

One ‘air breather’ snatched me out of the net and took me out from the bag.
It muttered something along the lines of ‘…inconsiderate people chucking their rubbish in the river and killing fish…’
I was just about to be dropped in the water again but the ‘air breather’ stopped when it heard a small voice say ‘ Mummy, can we take him home! Please! We still have that little fish tank out in the shed!’

And… that is the end of my story as a fingerling!
Here I am telling all my own little Fingerlings, ‘A Fingerling’s Life!’


But the dog poop bags aren’t biodegradable!

Hi its Mikaela!
I saw the dog poop bags up and running while I was out the other day!
Suddenly a thought popped into my mind!
“Those bags aren’t biodegradable! What can we do?”
I thought that we could have dog bags like the green shopping bags, but I suddenly changed my mind when I thought about the icky poop that would probably seep through the material!

Do you have any ideas?
If so, please let me know! (hey, that rhymes! ha ha)



What I think about Rock and the ads!

I totally agree with Joel how the advertisements are teaching kids to speak rudely and the ads don’t seem to be teaching kids and adults anything.
He is pointing the ads mainly towards younger kids but it is not mainly them who are polluting!

Lots of people seem to make excuses for Rock being funny and making kids laugh, but I think that kids think he is a joke! Some people think he is funny the way he looks, but some people are laughing at him instead of with him!
When we were coming up with ideas, Trent suggested conning people into putting their rubbish in a bin by giving them 5 cents every piece of rubbish.
I disagree with this idea because it is cheating people and false advertisement.
What would people want with 5 cents anyway?  They can’t even buy lollies for 5 cents!

I hope to come up with more ideas soon!
I don’t mean to offend anybody, I am expressing my opinion.



My Autobiography

Hi guys, its Mikaela again!
For our pieces of writing, people are doing poems, recounts, narratives and all different sorts of writing types. I have chosen to do something a little bit different.
I am doing an autobiography!
An autobiography is a piece of writing that is sort of like a story that can be mainly factual, but from someone elses point of view.
The type of person/animal/creature that I am doing an autobiography on is a fingerling.
I am going to write a story as if I was a fingerling.
I am not quite finished my story yet, so keep in touch!



What is the 5/6 D Litter Control Team?

The 5/6D Litter Control Team is a Rio Vista Team and is responsible for litter control and preparing advertising material to help people understand they have to pick up their dog’s poop in the park. There will be special poop bags available at Rio Vista Park very soon.


Writing Comments on the Blog

Hi again, it’s Mikaela
Now that everyone should know  how to write a post, when you are reading other peoples’ posts you can leave a comment expressing what your thoughts are and anyone can have a look at your opinion!
You might not have noticed, but there is a small button at the bottom of each post that says comments and it says next to it how many comments that post has received.
To write a comment, you have to be logged in and you just click on that button and it will show you the comments that it has received and there will be a large empty box down the bottom.
This box is for writing your comment in but you aren’t allowed to write any negative things though.
You can write what you want. Make sure you think about the comment. Sometimes it is good to suggest some further ideas and that gets everyone thinking. When you finish just write who it is from [just your first name, no surnames] then click Submit Query and that’s all!

Have Fun!


How do I use the blog?

Hi,  it’s Mikaela again and I am going to explain how to use the blog so that you new comers understand and can share all your important information or work with the whole team!
To get logged in, there is the word login on the right side of the home page. You will see it only if you scroll down past the search section.
After you click on this, there will be a section where you can put your password and user name that Mrs. Vorwerk will give you.
After you have logged in the screen will show you a different page.
To write a post, which is the piece of writing that I am doing, at the top of the page it says write and it will come up with a space for a heading and a space for writing.
To publish your post, you should press save which is below the space for writing and then press publish which is beside the save button.
If you wish to change your password, click on the word profile which is up the top with the button to post.
Scroll down to the section where it says update your password and type in your new password and click ok. You can also change your nickname so that it says your nickname next to your post. All you have to do is go into profile and under the name section it has a writing box to change your nickname and then you click ok and . . . . . . . .  voilà!
It says your new nickname next to the post!
That is all you need to do to write a post and it is really easy to get the hang of!

Have fun!                                      



Why are they destroying it?

A couple of weeks ago, I saw something that I was quite disappointed with!
I was down at the lawn tennis courts,near the river, when I walked past the place where my sister and I usually sat under a tree for shade but the sad thing was, there was no tree!
It looked TERRIBLE! On a whole hill where there are usually lots of beautiful, healthy trees and vegetation, was just a pile of DIRT!
I was so frustrated! Why would someone do that? I mean, it was quite a distance away from the courts but somebody just went ahead and destroyed a whole hill full of life and homes of heaps of poor creatures who haven’t done anything!
I just don’t understand!
If you might know why, please leave a comment explaining it!



Welcome to the Enviro Team!

Me, myself and I would like to personally welcome all new members of the glorious Enviro Team for 2008!
I can guarantee that it is going to be great to have you aboard the team!
I hope that you feel welcome, share your ideas and be able to show others the right thing to do!

                                                    Good luck!
From Mikaela!