Macquarie River natives get a boost

A LANDMARK community project is helping to restore the highly pressured Macquarie River in NSW to its former glory.

Parliamentary Secretary for Western NSW Sarah Mitchell said the project, Mending our Macquarie, undertaken by the Inland Waterways Rejuvenation Association, was helping to carefully repair the waterway.

“Together we’re going to make the fishing better,” Mrs Mitchell said.

“This fish habitat rehabilitation project will result in large woody structure or snags inserted into the Macquarie River around Dubbo to provide new homes for native fish.

Invasive river bank willows will also be controlled and replaced with native riverbank plantings.

“We’re rehabilitating the riverbank habitat as well as the instream habitat. Willows are a major problem in this area and a huge issue for native freshwater fish.

“This work wouldn’t be possible without a Recreational Fishing Trust Habitat Action Grant of $33,300 from the NSW Government, which was matched with $34,000 from the Inland Waterways Rejuvenation Association and another $5000 from the Wellington
Fishing Club.

“We are committed to bringing back the mighty Macquarie.” Mrs Mitchell said.

Willow work has recently got underway with trained bushcare contractors tackling the major woody weed along 2 km of priority Macquarie River frontage. The project will build on the Inland Waterways Rejuvenation Association’s successful Making fish happen in the Macquarie River project which resulted in a total of 72 new snags inserted in the river to provide new homes for fish such as the iconic Murray cod.

Mrs Mitchell said it’s important local groups get involved.

“This grass roots project is a great example of what passionate local fishers can achieve with the funds raised from the recreational fishing fee,” Mrs Mitchell said.

“The Inland Waterways Rejuvenation Association should be proud of themselves for taking the health of their local river and the future of their local fishery into their own hands.”

The 2015-16 Recreational Fishing Trust funded Habitat Action Grants open mid-August.

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