Landcare grant to help bring back Macquarie perch

Macquarie perch. Image: Zeb Tonkin

MACQUARIE perch populations across Victoria’s north east will benefit from a commonwealth government grant from Landcare to help recover the iconic species through breeding and habitat improvements.

Already endangered, the Macquarie perch has been heavily impacted by bushfires which have caused the loss of habitat and increased sediment in waterways.

Victorian Fisheries Authority (VFA) CEO Travis Dowling said the $181,500 grant would be used for a range of recovery measures across the Buffalo and King rivers and Cudgewa Creek

“The funding is great news for ‘Maccas’ and will enable our staff at the Snobs Creek hatchery, near Eildon, to spend more dedicated time devoted solely to breeding these fish and helping improve breeding success and the overall number of fingerlings stocked,” Dowling said.

“A short helicopter trip rather than a five-hour truck journey will now be used for transport of broodfish from where they’re collected direct to the hatchery, significantly reducing transport time and stress, and hopefully improve spawning success.

“A focus on feeding them live food will further assist broodfish health making for better quality eggs and more of them. Instream fish habitat will be installed at two sites, including boulder seeding and hardwood timber structures, while fencing and revegetation work will improve streamside health.

“Community planting weekends along riverbanks are planned with recreational fishers, local Landcare groups, the North Central Catchment Management Authority and the public.”

The VFA has a range of partners involved in the recovery plan for Macquarie perch including the Women in Recreational Fishing Network, Corryong Angling Club, VRFish, Futurefish Foundation, Ovens Landcare Network, Upper Murray Landcare Network, North East Catchment Management Authority and the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning.

This Landcare led Bushfire Recovery Grants Program has been supported by the Australian government’s Bushfire Recovery Program for wildlife and habitat.

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