A yearlong collaborative effort to eradicate an aquatic pest from a sacred site in the Top End has ended in success.

The Larrakia Traditional Owners and the Department of Primary Industry and Resources have worked together to remove the gambusia holbrooki –also known as the plague minnow or mosquito fish – from One Mile Dam.

The mosquito fish was introduced to Australia in an attempt to cull mosquitos, but had little effect and instead outcompeted many native fish and frogs.

After they were discovered in a drain near the One Mile Dam community in 2014 traditional owners worked with the department to remove native fish and freshwater turtles so they could eradicate the pest.

Senior Traditional Owner Eric Fejo says they received support from neighbouring Aboriginal groups to get rid of the “nasty critter.”

“Traditional Owners from as far as Kakadu were also worried about that fish getting into their pristine waters—that’s our ‘bush telegraph’ working for us.”