VR Fish raises river health concerns

RECREATIONAL fishers have expressed concern regarding the longstanding water quality issues in Victoria’s Anglesea River.

VRFish, the peak body representing recreational fishers in Victoria is calling on authorities to improve future management of this important estuary system.

VRFish Chairman, Mr Russell Conway said “The Anglesea River on the Surf Coast is traditionally a popular recreational fishing location and provides significant socio-economic benefits to the region from fishing related tourism.”

Local fishing business and tourism operators have reported a decline in fish stocks and thus visitors to the region. In 2012, a report commissioned by the Corangamite Catchment Management Authority (CCMA) stated that opening the estuary would be of benefit in reducing the impact of acidic events as they occur – yet it appears nothing has been acted upon.

VRFish understands that artificial openings of the estuary have been made previously by the authorities after careful consideration of environmental issues. Currently, a significant proportion of the estuary mouth is closed via the assistance of an artificial rock wall of which only part has been removed, meaning the mouth is still prone to closing due to sand movements.

Mr Conway added “We are of the view that this system warrants special consideration and an urgent plan is needed to be developed in consultation with fishers and other stakeholders for the betterment of the river and associated fishing business.”

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