Macquarie River fish habitat event this weekend

LARGE snags are to be placed in the Macquarie River near Dubbo to help repair fish habitat at a special event to celebrate the 10th birthday of Dubbo Macquarie River Bushcare.

Department of Primary Industries (DPI) Senior Conservation Manager, Sam Davis, said the Dubbo Macquarie River Bushcare and the NSW Environmental Trust have partnered with DPI to give this special birthday present to fish in the Macquarie River.

“On Sunday 11 November, an excavator will place trees removed from the site of a local land development into the river at Pilchers Reserve,” Ms Davis said.

“The snags will be strategically placed at planned positions to ensure they remain anchored and provide homes for fish for decades to come.

“Everyone is invited to attend the morning birthday celebrations and witness the installation of the snags.

“The official snag launch starts at 9.00 am, followed by a birthday cake.

“A fishing clinic will also be held that will include hints and tips on how to catch the big one and how to practice conservation fishing.

“Celebrations will conclude around midday with a free BBQ, which will feature snags of a different type.”

Ms Davis said native fish populations have declined by 90 per cent across the Murray Darling Basin over the past 200 years.

“One of the factors contributing to this decline is a lack of habitat provided by dead trees in streams,” she said.

“Fish such as golden perch and Murray cod rely on woody habitat for shelter and spawning sites.

“For fish, a snag can be a supermarket, an apartment block and a maternity ward all rolled into one.

“Snags are also an important part of the aquatic ecosystem, playing a vital role in aquatic food webs and shaping of the river bed.”

To get to Pilchers Reserve, travel south from Dubbo on the Old Dubbo Road, turn right at Lazy River Estate and follow signs.

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