Snowy River natives “endangered”

A GROUP of fisheries researchers has listed the Snowy River catchment in NSW as an Endangered Ecological Community. 

NSW Department of Primary Industries (NSW DPI) Director of Aquaculture, Conservation and Marine Parks, Bill Talbot said the Fisheries Scientific Committee (FSC) is an independent scientific body established to provide advice on threatened species and is responsible for assessing and listing threatened species, populations and ecological communities.

“Following a detailed assessment of the health of its fish communities, the aquatic ecological community in the catchment of the Snowy River in NSW has been listed as endangered,” Talbot said.

“The effect of the listing is to protect all native fish in the rivers, creeks, streams and lakes of the Snowy River catchment within NSW.

“The impoundments of Lakes Eucumbene, Jindabyne, Island Bend and Guthega are excluded from the listing.

“Similarly, trout fishing is not affected as the listing only protects native fish.

“The FSC has identified a range of threatening processes affecting the Snowy River including reductions in flow, in-stream structures, degradation of riparian vegetation, loss of aquatic plants, sedimentation and impact of introduced species.”

Talbot said that arrangements to authorise continued recreational fishing for native fish have been put in place.

“NSW DPI will prepare a Species Impact Statement to assess the impact of recreational fishing in the catchment and once complete, the community will be given the opportunity to comment before final recreational fishing arrangements are put in place,” Mr Talbot said.

“Recreational fishers can continue to fish in the area as normal while the assessment is underway.

“While fishing for native fish such as Australian bass can continue it is important that all fishers continue to follow the rules and regulations in place including bag and size limits to ensure the sustainability of our highly prized native fish species.

“The Snowy Rivers area is one of our State’s most iconic areas home to a diverse range of native species including the threatened river blackfish and southern pygmy perch.”

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