Annual Burrendong Classic fishing competition in April 2017

The sun was shining and the fish were biting for annual Burrendong Classic fishing competition in April 2017.

Canoeing in the southern Macquarie Marshes

Sensational weather combined with a dam level of 80% encouraged a record breaking 1306 entrants in the Annual 2017 Inland Waterways Rejuvenation Association catch and release fishing competition, held on the Easter long weekend at Burrendong Dam.

The fish were biting and luck was on the side of Lachlan Cole of Orange, who won a kayak donated by the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH).

In the months since the fishing competition, Lachlan said he has used the kayak around every two or three weeks while it was warm as he loves to get out on the water and wet a line. He also commented that a workmate had borrowed it from him a month ago and has since bought one for his wife to use in the Turon River near their home.

OEH's kayak donation is just one way the organisation is encouraging the local community to get out and enjoy local rivers, with the Wambuul Macquarie River Festival in October 2017 also planned.

Senior Wetlands and Rivers Conservation Officer Tim Hosking said recreational fishers had a big role to play in improving and monitoring the Macquarie River.

"It is great to see the ongoing work of the Inland Waterways Rejuvenation Association volunteers to look after our river health," Mr Hosking said.

"The valuable Inland Waterways Rejuvenation Association efforts to re-snag the river, restore riverbank vegetation and engage recreational fishers all value-add to government programs that also aim to help our native fish and the river they live in.

"The effectiveness of environmental water management that I get involved in, the recently-installed curtain at Burrendong to reduce cold water pollution, or ongoing work by organisations like DPI-Fisheries and Dubbo Regional Council to remove fish movement barriers all substantially benefit from these projects.

"The river is a complex living environment, and we need to use a range of different approaches to make the biggest difference we can.

"By supporting the prizes at the Burrendong Classic we hope to help the Inland Waterways Rejuvenation Association continue to grow their numbers and engagement of recreational fishers in native fish in the catchment. It is our pleasure to offer all the support we can.

"It is our hope that this kind of support can continue into the future," he said.