AUSTRALIA’S only fishing conservation charity OzFish Unlimited has partnered with Tregeagle Landcare Group and private landowners on Boggy Creek – a tributary of Tucki Tucki Creek which flows into the famed Tuckean Swamp.
OzFish are working on several ways to improve the native fish habitat in the area, including planting trees on the creek bank. The project site is about 9km upstream from Tuckean Swamp near Tregeagle. Weed removal and planting 3000 native trees along the riverbank has restored the habitat of Australian bass and other fish.
Funding for the works were provided by BCF and the Lismore City Council through their Rural Landholder Initiative. Energetic and enthusiastic landholders have been pivotal in the success of this project, organising partnerships between Landcare Australia, OzFish and local council to ensure the best possible outcomes for their creek frontage.
With a serious infestation of camphor laurel and other invasive plants, native flora along the waterway was out competed, with weed presence preventing natural biodiversity and insect fall for fish. It is thought the natural toxins in camphor laurel can be deadly for fish in small streams.
OzFish Unlimited director of habitat programs Cassie Price said local partnerships such as this one are vital in recovering damaged fish habitat.
“We are delighted to partner with such dedicated local landholders, Tregeagle Landcare Group and Lismore City Council to improve native fish habitat, especially in the upper catchment of the Tuckean Swamp, where we are working to investigate solutions to water quality in the lower catchment too,” Ms Price said. The work will help protect the bank from erosion, filter run-off, increase numbers of invertebrates that provide food for fish, and regulate water temperature fluctuations by shading the water.
Landcare NSW chief executive officer Dr Adrian Zammit said, “It is fantastic to see the partnership between Landcare and OzFish Unlimited empowering local communities across NSW to improve their local waterways.”
“The partnership focuses on on-ground works to improve the health of habitats in local rivers, enabling OzFish chapters and local Landcare groups to work together to deliver river restoration projects such as the Boggy Creek project,” Dr Zammit said. OzFish Unlimited chief executive officer Craig Copeland said Richmond River OzFish Chapter members are dedicated to supporting local projects that improve recreational fishing habitat, and further projects similar to this may receive support from OzFish’s major partner, BCF.
“Our fishers are keen to volunteer their time to improve fishing in the local Richmond River,” Mr Copeland said.
“We’d like to thank Tregeagle Landcare Group for connecting us with locals who provided us that opportunity.
“There is always more to be done and we’re calling on local fishers to get involved in the newly established Richmond River OzFish Chapter.
“This will support your local fish and fishing for future generations.”