Habitat is where fish live.
The first thing that springs to mind is water, but the water has to be the right type (freshwater, estuarine or saltwater), temperature, quantity (depth and flow) and quality. Fish habitat is more than just the water.
There are other things that make up the habitat fish need to survive and thrive. For example:
- materials that provide the underlying structure: e.g. rocks, coral, gravel, sand and mud
- types of vegetation present: e.g. overhanging vegetation, reeds, water plants, algae, dead wood (snags), seaweeds, seagrasses, mangroves and saltmarsh
- shape and nature of the habitat: e.g. pools and riffles, billabongs and reefs
- connections to other waterways and ecosystems: e.g. wetlands, streams, estuaries, floodplains lakes and beaches
At each stage of the life cycle each type of fish requires a particular habitat to survive and thrive. Only by maintaining this range of habitats can we make sure we have healthy fish populations into the future. That's the basics, but fish also need different habitats for spawning and growing out as well as to be able to migrate.
See habitat facts for more information.