River habitat gets a boost

Landholders along the Karuah River on the mid North Coast of NSW have been successfully involved in a fish habitat rehabilitation project.

The owners of Pumpkin Point, a private reserve frequented by local anglers, have just completed the project with the help of a Recreational Fishing Trust funded Habitat Action Grant from Industry & Investment NSW (I&I NSW). The project saw successful work carried out to save eroded river banks that were largely devoid of a natural mangrove buffer.

“We constructed rock fillets and revegetated the banks with native vegetation to stabilise the river banks and improve the habitat for fish,” project coordinator and site co-owner David Kirkness said.

“After spending 15 years attempting to stop severe erosion of the waterfront of our property at Pumpkin Point we were delighted to get assistance from I&I NSW.

“We have not only reduced riparian erosion but we have promoted the regrowth of mangroves and improved habitat for fish and their food source,” he said.

I&I NSW Conservation Manager, Charlotte Jenkins, said natural riverbank vegetation was essential to maintaining good quality fish habitat.

“Native river bank trees and shrubs such as mangroves provide fish habitat and food and act as a buffer,” said Ms Jenkins.

“Reducing erosion and helping to maintain water quality are all essential ingredients to help fish survive and thrive,” she said.

I&I NSW is now calling on other individuals, groups, local councils and organisations interested in improving their local waterways for fish to apply for a Habitat Action Grant.

The Habitat Action Grants close on 15 October 2010 at 5.00pm.

To see examples of previous Habitat Action Grant project successes, visit: www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/fisheries/habitat/rehabilitating/ahr-grants-program

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