Fishers for Fish Habitat Forum to address issues affecting Sunraysia area

THE Fishers for Fish Habitat Forum 2023 in Mildura on the 3rd and 4th of November is set to put Mildura firmly on the map as the leading base of freshwater fish habitat conservation in Australia.  

The event promises to bring together the fishing community and associated stakeholders to take a deep dive into how the community can help improve some of the issues facing the Murray Darling Basin.  

Experts in the industry will share their knowledge and ideas about the latest developments in native fish management, fish habitat and what can be done to make it thrive. 

Recreational fishers, landholders and interested community members are invited to converge on the picturesque town on the Murray River for the two-day free conference.  

The annual conference is made available to the community through the NSW Recreational Fishing Trusts and is presented by the Fish Habitat Network and OzFish Unlimited, Australia’s recreational fishing charity. 

And the best part of the conference for anyone interested in coming along is that it’s free to attend and includes all meals on both days for those who register to attend.  

Anyone interested in attending needs to sign up online with OzFish at ozfish.org.au/events by Tuesday, October 24 to guarantee a spot. 

For everyone to learn, collaborate and act on initiatives which will activate further improvements on Australia’s waterways, both on land and under the surface.  

Day one includes a boat trip and bus tour to see restoration works along the Murray River while day two features presentations from a range of speakers from fisheries research and the recreational fishing community, followed by a gala dinner. 

Braeden Lampard, OzFish’s Murray-Darling Basin program manager, said it was a privilege to host the event in Mildura and this year’s event was on track to be the biggest and best ever.  

“We want people to come together and discuss what’s next for their local fishery in the Murray-Darling Basin,” said Lampard.  

“We’ve got a whole range of speakers to cover a wide variety of topics to kick-start that discussion,” he said.

“It’s a whole new line-up of speakers and it’s going to be the biggest one we’ve had yet. We’ve scaled it up so that even if you’ve attended one of these forums before, you’ll be hearing new topics and ideas.”  

He added that several of the speakers will be focused on issues that affect the local region.  

“We’ve got Sascha Healy from the Lower Murray Darling Wetland Working Group, she’s going to be speaking on the benefits of environmental water to wetlands, fish, vegetation, frogs and waterbirds in the area,” he said.  

“Lubin Pfeiffer from The Full Scale Fishing Adventures will be speaking all things about catching Murray cod in the Murray River with a whole new presentation specifically for this forum, which I’m very eager to see.  

“Travis Dowling, the chief executive of the Victorian Fisheries Authority, will discuss Cracking the Code on the Macquarie perch.” 

This event is also a Yabby Trap Drop Spot. Bring any old and unwanted opera house yabby traps to the Midway Centre, on the Saturday between 8:30am to 9:20am and 4:00pm to 4:45pm, and swap it for an Oar-Gee Plow lure to support sustainable fishing practices. These old traps will be broken down and recycled into new fishing gear by OzFish and their partners. 

The forum is funded through the NSW Recreational Fishing Trusts and is presented by the Fish Habitat Network. The event is supported by the NSW Government, the Australian Government through the CRC Program, Murray Darling Basin Authority, Edward-Wakool Angling Association, Murray Darling Wetlands Working Group, the Murray Darling Healthy Rivers program, Victorian fisheries Authority, Women in Recreational Fishing and Boating, Barkindji Maraura Elders Environment Team and BCF – Boating, Camping in partnership with OzFish. 

More info at ozfish.org.au/events

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