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Fish to benefit from habitat works

More than 300 logs have been installed in river banks to improve fish habitat and bank stability along the Hunter River, near Muswellbrook in NSW.

Department of Primary Industries (DPI) Fisheries Conservation Officer, Dan Cross, said funds from the NSW Recreational Fishing Trust, with Commonwealth and NSW Government funding through the Hunter-Central Rivers Catchment Management Authority, were used to complete the works.

“More than 300 logs have been used to construct eight new engineered log jams in the Upper Hunter River at ‘Negoa’, near Muswellbrook,” Mr Cross said.

“The log jams will assist in stabilising eroding river banks at the site and enhance fish habitat for native species, such as Australian bass and mullet.

“The log jams are wedged into the bank and held in place by piles driven into the river bed and are designed to be able to withstand large floods, with some of the logs weighing over two tonnes each.

“The structures will give native fish a better fighting chance against pest species such as carp.

“This project is a team effort with logs generously provided by Roads and Maritime Services through the Hunter ExpresswayProject, works managed by DPI and construction completed by the river works crew of the Soil Conservation Service.”

Mr Cross said this is the fourth stage of a project that is designed to improve fish habitat in the Upper Hunter River.

“Overall, this project is improving fish populations in the Hunter River,” he said.

“It has resulted in nine constructed box-shapedwooden ‘fish hotels’ and 33 engineered log jams installed over the past four years in the Hunter River and throughout neighbouring river reaches.

“The work helps native fish take shelter,hide from predators, grow and, most importantly, to breed.”

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Logs prior to burial.

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Habitat site after newly completed works.

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Habitat after a settling-in period.

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