Fish habitats to be improved

25 Jul 2018 Mansfield Courier, Mansfield VIC (General News) THE State Government recently announced four new fish habitat projects worth more than $267,000 to make fishing even better across Victorian rivers. Increasing fish habitats is a great way to improve fishing in the long term because it provides new homes for fish where they can feed, shelter and breed. Minister for Agriculture Jaala Pulford recently announced the new projects on the Goulburn River in Seymour, downstream from where the Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority (CMA) has installed nearly 300 snags for native fish such as Murray cod. Its great to see all the project partners including local anglers, landholders and government agencies working together to improve our rivers, said Ms Pulford. Were improving fish habitat and stocking more fish to get more people fishing, more often right across Victoria. The Goulburn Broken CMA will manage two of these new projects worth $69,000. The first will install snags in the lower Goulburn River at three sites near its confluence with the Murray River, and the second will place boulders and snags into the water to create more diverse fish habitats on the Rubicon River. The Goulburn River is our most beautiful local asset and we are always looking for ways to ensure everyone gets to enjoy it this investment will see more people out enjoying this amazing waterway, Jaclyn Symes (MLC, Northern Victoria) said. The iconic Snowy River will benefit too, thanks to a $110,000 project to be undertaken by the East Gippsland Catchment Management Authority. This project will improve fish habitat density and connectivity that will assist stocked populations of Australian bass and other migratory native fish. The fourth new fish habitat project is on the Mitta Mitta River where the North East CMA will deliver $88,000 worth of fish habitat work between Lake Hume and Eskdale. The North East CMA has installed more than 200 log structures into the river during recent years and scientific monitoring has confirmed they were rapidly utilised by native fish. Adding habitat also optimises the return to anglers from annual stockings of Murray cod, grown at the Victorian Fisheries Authoritys Snobs Creek hatchery. More than 135,000 Murray cod fingerlings have been stocked into the lower Mitta Mitta River since 2012. The four new fish habitat projects are funded through recreational fishing licence fees and are part of the 2017-18 Recreational Fishing Licence Large Grants Program. The program complements the Labor Governments Target One Million plan, which is investing a record $46 million to grow participation in the much-loved pastime.