A turtle from Lake Apex, Gatton, is ready to be re-homed. Photo: ALI KUCHEL By ALI KUCHEL 30th Aug 2019 A MUD puddle will be a distant memory for a bunch of turtles, eels and a Brisbane River Cat Fish following today's rescue mission at Lake Apex. The rescue mission is well under-way at the fast-drying Gatton lake, with more than 40 turtles caught by noon today. Four eels, measuring more than 1.3 metres were pulled from the waist-deep water by lunchtime. Staff from Red Leaf Environmental drag what remains of Lake Apex to rescue the turtles. Photo: ALI KUCHEL A Brisbane River Cat Fish, about 80cm in length, was also removed and taken to the Lockyer Creek reserve at Smithfield bridge, Gatton. Red Leaf Environmental is assisting the Lockyer Valley Regional Council carry out the task, and identified three different, native species. Councillor Rick Vella, said LVRC had taken a proactive approach to protecting the remaining wildlife in one of the regions premiere parklands by relocating turtles and fish trapped in Lake Apex. Staff from Red Leaf Environmental gender check, measure and tag the turtles from Lake Apex ahead of re-homing them. Photo: ALI KUCHEL "The Lake is now almost completely dry as a result of the Lockyer Valley experiencing the driest conditions for the past 118 years," he said. "Council recognised the remaining animals would certainly have died had nothing been done, and a clean-up of perished wildlife would likely cost more than their safe relocation." The catchment was dragged with a net, then turtles were measured and tagged, ready for release. The move to rescue and re-home the turtles was approved at the Lockyer Valley Regional Council's meeting on Wednesday where the council agreed to spend nearly $5000 on the project.