FRESHWATER impoundment and river fishos in the Central West are enjoying the best fishing in decades thanks to NSW DPI Fisheries freshwater stocking programs and the work of Central Acclimatisation Society volunteers.
After recent rains filled storage dams, the water spilling over the walls has seen a return of natural flows to the river systems. The results are massive environmental benefits to the rivers below. The prolonged duration of natural flows and improved river health has had obvious benefits for both native fish and salmonoids stocked in the rivers over past years.
The NSW DPI Dollar for Dollar Native Fish Restocking Program allows fishing groups to participate in stocking their local waterways by contributing money towards the purchase of native fish. Amounts over $1,000 and up to $5,000 are matched by DPI funded by the Recreational Freshwater Fishing Trust, which is funded from the sale of recreational fishing fees.
With the Dollar for Dollar Program this year offering a generous $2 for $1 initiative, Central Acclimatisation Society (CAS) volunteers recently released 5,000 Murray cod into the Macquarie River at Bathurst, Oberon branch of CAS released 6,666 cod into the Fish River, Sofala branch of CAS released 6,666 cod into the Turon River and Bundi Fishing Club released 10,000 cod into the Macquarie River below Hill End to improve the resilience of native fish populations. In coming weeks CAS will release a further 6,500 golden perch into the Macquarie River at Bathurst and 8,500 goldens into the Turon River around Sofala at DPI approved release sites with public access.
The native fish purchased by CAS are placed in oxygenated plastic bags, boxed and transported by road from the Uarah Fish Hatchery at Grong Grong to Bathurst where they where taken to approved release sites by CAS members from local branches and placed in the water to equalise temperatures before adding small quantities of river water to mix in with the water in bags and then released.