THE NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) has awarded $644,000 in grants to recreational angling clubs, community groups, landholders and local councils – in towns such as Murrurundi and Muswellbrook – for 29 unique fish habitat projects, under the popular Habitat Action Grants Program.
The range of successful projects cover many iconic coastal and inland fishing spots in NSW with more than $1.4 million committed as in-kind support from the successful applicants.
DPI senior fisheries manager Kylie Russell said the grants would see major improvements to local creeks, riverbanks, wetlands and provide better access for fish, which will improve fish habitats and ultimately produce more fish.
“It’s not only the fish that will benefit from these works – valuable agricultural grazing land will be protected and water quality in our rivers improved,” she said.
“This will have flow-on benefits to local communities and tourism through improved recreational fishing opportunities.”
The program was highly-competitive with 59 new applications submitted, seeing strong support from local recreational anglers for the applications.
Successful projects will be carried out right across NSW including Bellingen, Buronga, Bredbo, Cambewarra, Coonabarabran, Coraki, Cowra, Dubbo, Durrumbul, Emu Plains, Grafton, Jerseyville, Kyogle, Lismore, Macksville, Murrurundi, Muswellbrook, Nimbin, Old Bar, Pooncarie, Urunga, Raymond Terrace, Tamworth, Tintenbar, Wilberforce and Yeoval.
The projects will:
* Install 243 woody habitats (snags),
* Install over 7 kilometres of riparian fencing to manage stock access,
* Revegetate over 15 kilometres of riparian zone, planting at least 15,300 trees, shrubs and sedges,
* Control over 88 kilometres of invasive riverbank weeds,
* Reinstate 52 kilometres of fish habitat by addressing 7 fish passage barriers,
* Implement at least 2.7 kilometres of bank erosion control, and
* Improve management of 133 hectares of wetland habitat.
“Funding for these grants was provided through the Recreational Fishing Trusts, where all money raised by the NSW Recreational Fishing Fee are placed into the Recreational Fishing Trusts and spent on improving recreational fishing in NSW,” Ms Russell said.
“The Recreational Fishing Trust - Habitat Action Grant Program is a great example of how anglers’ money is being invested back into recreational fishing, supporting the improvement of recreational fish populations.”
A full list of successful projects can be found at www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/hag