Fishers going with the flows of the Gwydir River

Recreational fishers took the opportunity to learn first-hand how environmental water boosts fish populations with a recent field trip along the Gwydir.

Whittaker's Lagoon

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) to learn how environmental water is helping native fish.

OEH Water Programs Team Leader Debbie Love said similar field trips in the Murray and Lower-Darling River systems were overwhelmingly supported by the recreational fishing community.

“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 local recreational fishers and vice-versa,” Ms Love said.

“Participants looked at barriers to fish passage such as weirs and saw firsthand how environmental water management is assisting in the recovery native fish such as Freshwater Catfish.

‘A recent stabilising flow delivered 10GL of water from Copeton Dam downstream through the Gwydir River and into the Lower Gwydir, Gingham, and Mehi Systems, as well as Carole Creek and was designed to maintain quality habitat for young fish.

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

“Our water managers aim to enhance breeding and recruitment conditions, and access to habitat for native fish by more effectively managing flows into our river and wetland systems.

“Local knowledge is important in developing our strategies. Likewise, it is important for locals to ask questions and learn more about the complexities of targeted flows and releases for fish.

“We are managing environmental water and design flows that consider timing, duration and variability to support native fish recovery,” Ms Love said.

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