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Author Topic: Fishers team up to repair fishway at Casino  (Read 1540 times)

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Fishers team up to repair fishway at Casino
« on: September 14, 2013, 02:41:52 PM »
Fishers team up to repair fishway at Casino
11 Sep 2013 - NSW DPI

The current dry weather and low flows in the Richmond River are providing the ideal opportunity for a passionate group of fishers to tackle an upgrade of the damaged fishway on Jabour Weir at Casino and restore fish migration in the river.
“The commercial and recreational fishers have teamed up with Richmond Valley Council (RVC) and NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) to improve the fishway which was severely damaged during floods over the last five years,” said DPI Fisheries Conservation Manager Patrick Dwyer.

“The work to repair the fishway will help fish to move past the weir into almost 1000 km of good fish habitat upstream.

“Many of the 24 native fish species in the Richmond River at Casino will benefit from the opportunity of moving up and downstream of the weir to feed, breed and seek shelter,” Mr Dwyer said.

“This is a tremendous initiative by a dedicated group of fishers to give back and help sustain the fishery they enjoy and rely upon.”

Mr Dwyer said Ballina commercial fishers who haul mullet from the Richmond River in early winter each year have provided $4000 to pay for new baffle inserts and protective grating to go over the fishway.

“Recreational fishers from the Kyogle Fishing Club are donating the labour of three builders for the week to repair the fishway. Other materials and supervision is being supplied by the weir’s owner Richmond Valley Council.”

Mr Dwyer said Jabour Weir is located 120 kilometres upstream of the Richmond River mouth and just 3.5km upstream from the tidal limit.

“At three metres high, Jabour is one of the most significant barriers to fish movement in coastal NSW.

“Without an effective fishway, it limits opportunities for fish species to move past the weir.

“Nine fish species are severely impacted as they must move between freshwater and estuarine habitats to complete their lifecycle.

“These fish species include the popular recreational fish Australian Bass (locally known as Perch), commercially important long and short finned eels, striped and freshwater mullet, freshwater herring and several other species of gudgeon.

“Another 15 species would also benefit from the opportunity of moving up and downstream of the weir.”

Mr Dwyer said the fishers are committed to this project but want to see a new fishway built one day.

“Richmond Valley Council have a finalised concept plan that indicates that the best sort of fishway for the present weir would be either a vertical slot fishway or a new trapezoidal fishway.

“It would operate over the wide range of flows that occur within the Richmond River and enable passage for all age classes of the variety of fish species.

The fishers and Council will continue working together to raise the money needed to restore fish migrations in the Richmond River.”

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