Whiteman Park’s namesake, Lew Whiteman, was instrumental in the development of the Mussel Pool picnic area and the body of water for which the area is named.
Back in the 1960s, Lew constructed a dam across the Bennett Brook, creating a pool which now remains year round.
Termed Mussel Pool, due to the presence of large fresh water mussels which were once prolific in the area, it is a scenic picnic area favoured by Park visitors endeavouring to find a quiet spot.
The Fish Ladder
The damming of this watercourse had inadvertently prevented the seasonal migration of small fish species from downstream resulting in the upper reaches of Bennett Brook becoming devoid of fish life. This issue lead to the construction of a fish ladder to reconnect Bennett Brook and Mussel Pool.
The fish ladder was designed by a Murdoch University zoologist, built by a “Work for the Dole” team in 1999, and was the first of its kind in Australia.
The structure allows native fish, which include the western minnow and pygmy perch, to migrate upstream to Mussel Pool and the upper reaches of Bennett Brook.
The result has been the re-colonisation of this wetland area by several native fish species, a great achievement for conservation.