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:
Phone: 0414 758 558
Image courtesy of Col Gordon: Weir modification works to allow native fish passage on the Macquarie River