RFA seek angler access to Sydney dams

Image: Civil Aviation Safety Authority

THE Recreational Fishing Alliance (RFA) of NSW is currently pressing Fisheries to open up recreational fishing on freshwater impoundments near Sydney, such as Prospect Reservoir.

Prospect Reservoir is located on Prospect Creek, approximately 35 kilometres west of Sydney CBD. Its original purpose was to store water fed by gravity from the dams of the Upper Nepean system but with the commissioning of the Prospect Water Filtration Plant in 1996, raw water transferred from Warragamba and the Upper Nepean dams was sent directly to the treatment facility, bypassing Prospect Reservoir. The filtration plant at Prospect can draw water directly from Prospect Reservoir if required should the need arise in an emergency however the quantity of water is very limited and usage period would be very short.

Prospect Reservoir currently contains areas for picnics, barbecues, children’s playgrounds, conference facilities, shelter sheds and toilet facilities on the eastern shore. A bike track is provided on the southern shore while the northern shore is timbered. A raw sewer treatment plant is located on the western shore away from public access. Prospect Reservoir Picnic Area, which is owned and managed by Sydney Water, is open to the public every day of the year.

The RFA believes there is a strong case to allow recreational fishing activities at Prospect Reservoir. Indeed NSW Fisheries stocked the reservoir with freshwater fish around 2002 or 2003. It is possible that Prospect Reservoir could be a “Put and Take Fishery” where stocking is provided on a frequent basis and funded by recreational anglers through the Fresh Water Recreational Trust Fund.

Examples of similar successful locations are dams such as Googong Dam in the ACT and the Heinze and Tinaroo Dams in Queensland. Angler access has been permitted to these locations for many years and shows that controlled management allowing recreational fishing is easily managed.

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