Restocking boosts native numbers

A RESTOCKING milestone was surpassed over the weekend with the release of the Inland Waterways Rejuvenation Association’s (IWRA’s) 100,000th fingerling into the western NSW region.

Committee members and volunteers turned out in the hottest part of the day to welcome the Murray cod and yellowbelly (golden perch) fingerlings reared at the Murray Darling fish hatchery in Wagga Wagga.

The stocking was reportedly a proud day for the volunteer committee, which saw the total number of fingerlings released by the group move to 109,983 native Murray cod and yellowbelly. Arriving in chilled bags of water to slow the fish’s metabolism in transit, the fish were then transported to seven release locations along the Macquarie River and Lake Burrendong where the water temperature was stabilised to match the environment they were to be released into.

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Release sites along the Macquarie River included: Ponto Falls reserve, Peach trees reserve, Scabbing Flat reserve, Brumagen Creek reserve, Minore Falls reserve, Whylandra reserve, and Terramungamine reserve.

Special thanks was given to the members of the Garden Hotel Fishing Club, who also contributed $1000 towards the stocking event.

With fish being released across three local government areas including Wellington, Dubbo and Narromine, it is hoped a fair percentage of the fingerlings will survive until breeding age, where they will become mature breeding fish that are capable of producing millions of offspring of their own in years to come.

The NSW DPI has reported that stocking of freshwater fish is commonly used to replenish fish stocks in areas where there have been declines, or to enhance recreational fishing at popular angling locations. Species such as golden perch, silver perch, Murray cod, Australian bass, brown trout, rainbow trout, atlantic salmon and brook trout are all stocked into the rivers and impoundments of NSW on an annual basis. Almost 50 million fish have been stocked into waterways of South-Eastern Australia since 1980.

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A large group of volunteers turned out on Sunday to lend a hand releasing over 30,000 Murray Cod and Yellowbelly fingerlings into the Macquarie River and Lake Burrendong.

I.W.R.A president Matt Hansen, assisted by Cooper O’Neill, welcomed over 50 volunteers from the community who lent a hand to release $16,000 worth of fingerlings on Sunday.

Fingerlings were also released in the Wellington, Dubbo and Narromine districts over the weekend.

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