FISHING Australia TV program host Rob Paxevanos says the Macquarie pipeline environmental assessment (EA) should be scrapped after he and a group of local anglers caught and released 29 native fish during a visit last week to the site of the pipeline – see Fishing World report HERE.
The group had used lure fishing methods to catch 15 Murray cod, 14 golden perch and a European carp during the three-day trip and filmed and documented their efforts for the next series of Paxevanos’s TV show. A 91 centimetre Murray cod was caught within half an hour of the presenter’s arrival.
Angler Matt Hansen says the findings don’t reflect EA’s aquatic field survey of the area, where consultants using netting and electro fishing caught no fish at the offtake site. One native and one exotic fish were accounted for at an upstream site, and two native and three exotic species were caught at a downstream site.
Paxevanos said he was surprised at the numbers caught following recent storm damage in the area. “The upper Macquarie between Bathurst and Burrendong is spectacular,” he told the Central Western Daily.
“The river is the jewel in the region as far as fishing goes. The EA said there is no significant numbers [of fish] in that river which is garbage.”
But council spokesman Nick Redmond said the EA did acknowledge the species of fish were present, despite the limited number of fish caught during the survey.
“We’ve given consideration to trout cod,” he said.
“You can’t rely on the survey.”