No dam access for western anglers

Anglers in Western Australia hoping to gain access to local water supply dams have been left disappointed after making unsuccessful submissions to WA’s Public Administration Committee.

The committee put together the Report into Recreational Activities within Public Drinking Water Source Areas, released last week, which doesn’t look favourably at rec fishing in water supplies.

It concluded that “The Committee finds that that humans recreating in source areas pose an unacceptable risk to drinking water quality. Recommendation 1: The Committee recommends no increase in the amount of current recreational activity in the outer catchments of public drinking water source areas.”

With this announcement there have ben calls for an independent review of water management in the state, looking at issues such as a lack of riparian zones, reduced flows due to inappropriate and excessive damming and ongoing pollution events.

According to, Recfishwest executive director Frank Prokop was furious with the outcome and said that the parliamentary committee that reviewed the access for recreation in at least some dams that were also used for drinking water was “gut hooked”.

“They have swallowed to the fullest possible extent the fanciful propositions put to them by self-interested water engineers. If they were a fish, you would declare them unlikely to able to survive the trauma and should not be returned to the electorate.” Prokop said.

“They have accepted as gospel the extraordinary proposition that allowing recreation anywhere you could see the water and be tempted by it would lead to catastrophe, while at the same time suggesting that preventing access but not further treating water would absolutely ensure that we were safe. This is simply not true.

“This report puts an informed debate on water management and recreation back at least 20 years. Unfortunately it will take a health scare in a supposedly protected catchment for real politicians to make the water authorities accountable for realistic and equitable policies,” Prokop concluded.

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