Rehabilitation works for Macquarie River, NSW

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Fish habitat along the Macquarie Rver will soon be enhanced and rehabilitated (image: Scott Thomas).

THE Sofala Branch of the Central Acclimatisation Society (CAS) have been awarded a Habitat Action Grant by the Department of Primary Industries (Fisheries) to enhance and rehabilitate degraded recreational fish habitat along the Macquarie River, through a project entitled “Recovery of the Mac”. Funding and assistance for the project is provided from the Freshwater Fishing Trust via the sale of Recreational Fishing Licences, Central Tablelands Local Land Services, Central West Councils Environment and Waterways Alliance, Bathurst Regional Council, and Oz Fish Unlimited.

The project will include modification to existing waters, installing strategically placed large rocks in sections of the Macquarie River to create fish habitat to benefit native fish species and removal of invasive plants. Works will be followed up by planting native trees that provide far superior habitat for native fish.

Fish passage is currently blocked by two rock weirs that are located within the river adjacent to the Macquarie River Bicentennial Park in Bathurst. As part of the grant funded project, fish passage improvements will be undertaken by removing selected rocks from a small section (approximately 2 m wide) from the centre of each existing rock weir structure. These removed rocks will then be placed on the riverbank adjacent to the weirs to reinforce these areas.

Modifications to these weirs will allow fish, including threatened species such as Murray cod and trout cod, to move upstream and downstream through this section of the river. It will also leave the Bathurst Waterworks Weir as he only man-made barrier to fish passage between Bureendong Dam and Ben Chifley Dam (404 km).

The works, which are expected to commence in the coming weeks, will be carried out with the assistance of Bathurst Regional Council and under the supervision of DPI Fisheries.

The project will improve fish habitat in the Macquarie River and compliment recent and future native fish restocking including the National Trout Cod Recovery Program in the Bathurst district and enhance recreational fishing opportunities for local and visiting anglers.

For further information contact: Sofala CAS, Col Gordon, 0414 758 558, codgordon@hotmail.com

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