TV show to document “real” fish numbers in Macquarie

FISHING Australia host Rob Paxevanos and Aussie angling legend Rod Harrison are joining forces to give TV viewers a real account of native fish numbers in a section of the Macquarie River in central western NSW. The stretch of river is set to provide an extraction point for a controversial pipeline project under a proposal by the Orange City Council.

Paxevanos and Harrison will visit the local area in early December and document on film the fish species they come across. Their visit has eventuated after hearing local anglers’ outcry at the lack of detail and findings of the publicly released Environmental Assessment completed for the Macquarie Pipeline.

“I will be only too happy to visit the area and film my TV show Fishing Australia in December after cod season re opens” Paxevanos said. “I would love to give a fair dinkum account of what we come across during our stay.”

Aussie angling legend Rod Harrison has long known that the upper Macquarie River is a very special native fish nursery, and recently captured a small endangered trout cod in this section of the river. Experts say the trout cod was most probably released as part of the national endangered trout cod recovery plan in recent years.

Harrison jumped at the chance to join the explorative party made up of the Fishing Australia TV Crew, and local anglers Ken Smith and Matt Hansen.

“This section of the Macquarie is a frontier for native fish, and it should be treated as a very special and delicate environment. The habitat in these waters is very unique, and could be described as a world class fishery. It should be protected,” Harrison said.

The recently released Macquarie River Pipeline Environmental Assessment has left local environmentalists outraged at the lack of detail, with some describing it as disrespectful of the freshwater ecosystem.

Local anglers have noted that disrespectful mistakes riddle the document, with large golden perch being incorrectly documented in millimetres instead of centimetres on page 29, along with the statement that “no threatened species were encountered” written early in the report before clearly showing on page 30 that threatened catfish were encountered.

A clear message has resonated from all river users that a much more detailed Environmental Report should be completed, instead of what has been described as a “snapshot” assessment.

Environmentalists and anglers alike are concerned that native fish use the river much like a highway year round, and will congregate en masse at certain points of the year to breed, therefore making a snapshot assessment both inaccurate and invalid.

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