It’s cool down there – (goby season)

As the mercury pushes 40 degrees in Sydney, the coolest place to be is underwater right now and since my last post, the tropical EAC eddy off the coast has delivered many new tropical fish to the aquatic reserve.

There haven’t been a huge number of tropical visitors so far this year, but today I noticed many that you don’t typically see until the end of Mar/Apr.

The golden-headed sleeper goby sifts sand through its gills with a goatfish it has befriended. A keyhole angelfish grazes through the cunjevoi, where a tiny green moray tried to conceal itself. Tiny juvenile Arrow gobies play amongst schools of eastern hulafish.

A dwarf lionfish revealed itself stalking juvenile fish around a rock outcrop, and then Shelly the turtle appeared to say hello. This turtle needs a beak clean judging by the growth visible on its upper “lip”.

What a great way to cool the blood on a scorching hot day!

The EAC Magic

At this time of the year the East Australian Current brings down warm water from the Barrier Reef and with it come a plethora of juvenile and some adult tropical fish, coral larvae, turtles and much more.

The EAC typically eddies over a magnificently large area to the east of Sydney, often pushing tropical fish beyond Narooma to the south. Currently at 28 degrees in the warmest areas out in the ocean, the waters closer to Sydney’s shores usually get to 23-4 degrees at this time of year.

Once here the EAC passengers find a suitable habitat and establish themselves. However, as the waters cool, towards winter the majority die off when water temperatures drop below 20 degrees, leaving only a few of the most hardy behind to wait for the next years arrival.