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News

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Recovery of the Mac

Mick Callan

The Sofala Branch of the Central Acclimatisation Society (CAS) has been awarded a Habitat Action Grant from the NSW Department of Primary Industries (Fisheries) to enhance and rehabilitate degraded recreational fish habitat along the Macquarie River, through a project titled “Recovery of the Mac”. Funding for the project is provided from the Freshwater Recreational Fishing Trust via the sale of recreational fishing licences, Central Tablelands Local Land Services and Central West Councils Environment and Waterways Alliance

The Sofala Branch of CAS has teamed up with Bathurst Regional Council, Central Tablelands Local Land Services with support from OZ Fish Unlimited. The project will include modification to existing weirs, 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 which provide far superior habitat for native species

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

Modification 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 the only man-made barrier to fish passage between Burrendong Dam and Ben Chifley Dam (404km).

The works, which are expected to commence within 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
Phone: 0414 758 558
Email: codgordon@hotmail.com

Image courtesy of Col Gordon: Weir modification works to allow native fish passage on the Macquarie River

Bathurst Regional Council wants you to have your say on Open Space

Mick Callan

Participate and provide your feedback on how you would like to use the
parks, gardens, sporting fields and natural areas in the Bathurst region
over the next 20 years.

Bathurst Regional Council, together with specialist open space, recreation and sport planners Parkland Planners and Otium Planning Group, is preparing the Bathurst 2040
Open Space Strategy to guide planning and provision of open space in the
Bathurst Region over the next 20 years.

The strategy will cover the Bathurst urban and suburban areas, as well as
the region’s rural villages.

Mayor Graeme Hanger OAM said the population has increased by 50 per cent
over the last 25 years and more residential development is occurring.

“We want to ensure that open spaces will meet the needs of a growing and
changing community in the future,” he said.

Residents, workers, students and visitors are encouraged to comment and
Council is also seeking input from schools, sporting, recreation,
environmental, community and business groups.   Join in the conversation
online by telling us:

• What open spaces do you like to use, and why?
• What do you do there, and how often do you visit?
• What are the best open spaces in the Bathurst Region, and why?
• What open spaces will the community need in the future?
• Where should these open spaces be provided?
• How can existing open spaces be improved to meet yours and the
community’s needs?

To provide feedback, complete a survey on
yoursay.bathurst.nsw.gov.au/openspace or visit facebook or twitter, email
council@bathurst.nsw.gov.au or post to Private Mail Bag 17, Bathurst NSW
2795. Comments can be made until Friday, 15 December.

For more information on the Bathurst 2040 Open Space Strategy, please
contact Nicholas Murphy, Senior Strategic Planner at Bathurst Regional
Council on 6333 6211.

The Secret Life of Mudgee Cats Exposed!

Mick Callan

The secret lives of Mudgee’s wandering cats have been exposed as part of a Domestic Cat Tracking project organised by Central Tablelands Local Land Services.

During the project GPS motion sensing devices were attached to 12 domestic cats in and around the city of Mudgee to track their every movement for up to 10 days.

The citizen science project funded through the Commonwealth’s National Landcare Program was designed to educate cat owners and promote awareness of the surprisingly large distances domestic cats can roam if given free access to the outdoors.

Land Services Officer Julie Reynolds says the results shocked some owners.

"People will tell you their cat just lays around the house, that it doesn't go anywhere, however the tracking data has shown many cats are far more active than their owners realised,” said Julie.

"Most of the cats regularly roamed up to two blocks from their homes and many wandered half a kilometre away on a daily basis.”

Mudgee cat, Mason, was recorded wandering up to 2 kilometres away from his home base, and stayed out for several days.

“We wanted to track Mason because he would disappear for a few days at a time,” said Mason’s owner, Margaret Hoffman.

Mason’s family assumed he was off visiting his girlfriend at a neighbour’s house, but it turns out Mason was travelling much further afield.

“We desexed him because we thought it would stop him wandering but he still disappears and when he comes home he sleeps for two days. Now we know why,” said Michael Hoffman.

The cat is a very important companion animal, however Local Land Services is urging cat owners to restrict the movement of their pets to the house, the backyard, or a cat enclosure.

Researchers estimate pet cats kill approximately 61 million birds every year, with cats likely to significantly increase the extinction risk faced by some bird species in Australia.[1]

Keeping your cat in at night can halve the number of wildlife killed by your pet. Other options include putting a bell on your cat’s collar and desexing to reduce your cat’s drive to roam, and more importantly to stop unwanted kittens being born.

“We’re hoping this research will encourage more cat owners to keep their pets from roaming and reduce their impact on native wildlife,” said Julie Reynolds.

Controlling cat movement will also protect pets from traffic accidents and fights with other cats, while reducing exposure to infections such as feline AIDS.

The Cat Tracker project is supported by funding from the Australian Government through the National Landcare Program.

________________________________

[1] Report compiled by John Woinarski, Brett Murphy, Leigh-Ann Woolley, Sarah Legge, Stephen Garnett and Tim Doherty, published in

The Guardian 4 October 2017  https://theconversation.com/for-whom-the-bell-tolls-cats-kill-more-than-a-million-australian-birds-every-day-85084


Photo Caption: Mudgee cat, Mason, was tracked wandering up to 2 kilometres away from his home base