Native fish free to migrate

NATIVE fish in the Little River near Cumnock in central western NSW now have free access to more than 46 kilometres of prime habitat, thanks to a Recreational Fishing Trust Fish Habitat Action Grant project, which removed a fish barrier.

“Keeping Big Fish Moving in the Little River” – Stage 2 was implemented by Yeoval Fishing
Club in partnership with the Department of Primary Industries (DPI), Central West
Catchment Management Authority (CMA) and Cabonne Shire Council.

DPI Senior Conservation Manager, Sam Davis, said the work is part of a three year project
to address a number of fish passage barriers in the system.

“Native fish such as Murray cod need to be able to migrate to find food, shelter and to
breed – it is essential to their survival,” Ms Davis said.

“A raised causeway at Heads Road, which provided access for landholders during all but
very high flows but restricted fish passage at all other times, has been replaced by a fish
friendly single span bridge. Now these works are complete, fish just have one remaining artificial barrier, the Obley gauging weir, which is in the pipeline for remediation.

“Once all the works are done fish will have access to habitat all the way to Little River’s
junction with the Macquarie River. The project is helping to create more fish, naturally.”

inline_231_ River - BEFORE shot-small-1 550.jpg
 The barrier on the Little River prior to removal works.

Yeoval Fishing Club member Matthew Phillipson said the club has worked successfully
with the project partners to provide an instant benefit for native fish.

“The project is providing better fishing for our kids and we are seeing that now in our
creeks and rivers,” Mr Phillipson said.

Habitat Action Grants will again be available in August for recreational fishers, local
Councils, conservation groups and individuals to improve fish habitat in their local areas
and help to make more fish.

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