Fish flows for Macquarie River

Recreational fishers recently learned first-hand how environmental water is boosting fish populations along the Macquarie River.

Murray cod (Maccullochella peelii)

Environmental water managers from NSW Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH) teamed up with fishing enthusiasts and staff from NSW Department of Primary Industries (Fisheries) for a field trip to discover how environmental water is helping native fish from Dubbo to the Macquarie Marshes.

OEH Water Programs Team Leader Debbie Love said the most recent field trip in the north of the Murray-Darling Basin provided an opportunity for water and fish experts to share information with recreational fishers and vice-versa.

“Information and discussion focused on how managed releases of water provide opportunities for native fish to survive from spawning to adults,” Ms Love said.

“A range of important sites for fish management were inspected including the new rockramp fishway at Dubbo and the Marebone vertical slot fishway.

“Local community knowledge supports short and long-term monitoring of native fish responses to environmental flows.

“Recreational fishers had the opportunity to ask how they can contribute to environmental water planning, as well as what is being done to manage pest fish such as carp,” Ms Love said.

Dubbo recreational fisher and member of Inland Waterways Rejuvenation Association (IWRA) David Harris said OEH’s field trip was a great way to see and hear how water flow patterns effect fish movements.

“Providing the right flow conditions for fish like Murray Cod and Yellow Belly to breed, thrive and survive in these systems is making a difference to increasing native fish numbers across the north of the Murray-Darling Basin.

“Flows that provide connectivity between the Barwon and Macquarie River have been especially beneficial for the breeding of Yellow belly and migration of young fish from the Barwon into the Macquarie.

“An increase in fish numbers will not only improve recreational fishing and the natural environment, it will also benefit local tourism and economies,” Mr Harris added.

For more information about plans and priorities for the delivery of water for the environment in 2017/18 visit Water for the environment