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Fishing clubs to be involved in habitat care

FISHING clubs in coastal NSW now have the opportunity to help improve their fishery, thanks to a new Department of Primary Industries (DPI) project to increase angler knowledge of fish habitat and work with clubs on local habitat improvement projects.

DPI Acting Executive Director of Fisheries, Bill Talbot, said getting involved in local fish habitat rehabilitation is a new step for most recreational fishing clubs.
“The outcomes will benefit fishers and their coastal communities,” Mr Talbot said.

“More habitat means more fish, so by improving fish habitat you are effectively improving your chances at catching a fish. Through the new project, Scott Nichols, a DPI Fisheries Conservation Manager, will be visiting clubs and talking with recreational fishers about the things that are affecting their local fishing spots, as well as helping them plan small actions to improve local fish habitat. This project – targeting the eyes and ears of our local fisheries – is being implemented using funds from the recreational fishing licence fee.”

Malcolm Poole, Chairman of the Recreational Fishing Alliance of NSW, said the best fishing spots are the ones with good water quality and connected to the variety of habitats needed to support a well balanced food chain. “This allows fish to get all the food they need and to get bigger and ready to catch,” Mr Poole said.

“Scott has already sent letters out to most clubs offering a talk on fish, fish habitat and local opportunities. “I encourage all clubs to invite Scott along to a club meeting or event and just listen to what he has to say. “There’s more happening than most of us realise, but a lot more needs to happen. We, as people who love fishing, need to get more involved.”

If your club is interested in receiving a talk on fish habitat related issues, or if you would like to get started on a project of your own, contact the Project Manager Scott Nichols on 02 6626 1396, 0429 300 489 or email scott.nichols@dpi.nsw.gov.au.

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