An elusive stonefish that forced the Gold Coast Council to drain a popular swimming lake has finally been captured.
The council yesterday announced: "We've got him: stonefish captured".
It comes after the council this week began draining Evandale Lake in a last-ditch effort to find the highly venomous stonefish, which the mayor had named it "Sharon".
Crews searching for the fish cheered when they saw the fish in the nets.
Mayor Tom Tate posted on Facebook: "We got him! We found the stone fish! This was on the fifth net run across the lowering lake," he wrote.
He said James Cook University would "milk" the venom as part of efforts to develop anti-venom.
"But where there is one there may be more so we are continuing."
The stonefish was not the only catch: Tate said a barracuda about 1m long was found as well as a large number of fish such as mangrove jacks and whiting.
The council will continue to net the lake to ensure they have removed all dangerous fish from the water before repairs begin.
The lake has been closed for five weeks after the stonefish was spotted by a member of the public on July 18. Tate said it cost more than $120,000 to catch the fish. and have included divers and nets before the draining operation.
SeaWorld divers tried - and failed - to find it, and netting of the lake failed to also find the deadly critter.
This week, three large pumps were brought in to pump out 14 Olympic-sized swimming pools worth of water from the lake.
Stonefish are among the most venomous known fish. They have potent neurotoxins in their needle-like dorsal fin spines, which stick up when disturbed or threatened.