IT'S being hailed as the catch of the day across Queensland - a rare lungfish was rescued from the carpark of a Gympie hotel today by a kind-hearted local.
The lucky lungfish found itself in the carpark of Billy's Hotel after coming in on the tide during flooding in Gympie.
A lady picked the fish up and then carried it back to deeper water.
According to Wikipedia, the Queensland lungfish can live for several days out of the water, if it is kept moist, but will not survive total water depletion, unlike its African counterparts.
The species was used by environmentalists in their fight to stop the Traveston Crossing Dam, near Gympie.
In refusing the dam in 2009, then Environment Minister Garrett said the impacts on threatened species would be too great.
"... the science is very clear about the adverse impacts this project would have on the nationally protected Australian lungfish, Mary River turtle and Mary River cod,'' Mr Garrett said at the time.
"The independent expert advice and the advice from my department clearly show the Traveston Dam proposal would lead to serious and irreversible consequences for these species and most likely, would lead to their further decline.''
The Queensland lungfish at a glance
The Queensland lungfish, also known as the Australian lungfish, Burnett salmon, and barramunda is the sole surviving member of the family Ceratodontidae and order Ceratodontiformes.
Endemic to Australia, it is one of only six lungfish species in the world.
Fossil records of the fish date back 380 million years, around the time when the higher vertebrate classes were beginning to evolve.
The Queensland lungfish is native only to the Mary and Burnett river systems. But it has been successfully distributed to other more southerly rivers including the Brisbane, Albert, Stanley, and Coomera Rivers, and the Enoggera Reservoir in the past century.
The Queensland lungfish has also been introduced to the Pine, Caboolture, and Condamine Rivers, but current survival and breeding success are unknown.
Formerly widespread, at one time there were at least seven different species of lungfish in Australia.