A collaboration project between NSW Department of Primary Industries and State Water is underway to improve native fish passage in the western NSW region.
The project has research support from The Waterbirds, Wetlands and Rivers Research Laboratory of the University of NSW and has been funded by the Rivers Environmental Restoration Program.
“Native fish undergo both small and large scale migrations throughout their life to find food, shelter, mates and spawning sites,” said NSW DPI Senior Conservation Manager, Sam Davis.
Native fish, such as Murray cod and golden perch, are known to have difficulty negotiating weirs, causeways, culverts and other blockages/barriers such as pipes and floodgates in creeks.
“In the Lower Macquarie Catchment, Bulgeraga Creek has been identified as a major fish migratory route, which has a number of water regulation structures that are blocking fish passage.
“This has major repercussions for the health of native fish communities and the quality of fish stocks available for recreational anglers.” said Sam Davis.
The project will assess the degree of impact barriers have on fish movement through the Bulgeraga Creek System in the Macquarie Marshes, and work out the most strategic way of dealing with the barriers.
The River Environmental Restoration Program is jointly funded by the NSW Government and the Australian Government’s Water for the Future and aims to improve the ecological health of the most stressed and iconic inland rivers and wetlands in NSW.
Pic: Sam Davis, NSW DPI