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Fishy Business: Rivers get a Check Up

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Victoria’s major rivers will receive their annual check up to ensure the health and status of recreational fish species.

Researchers from the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP)’s will work with Fisheries Victoria to monitor native fish species in a selected river in each of Victoria’s 10 Catchment Management Authority (CMA) regions.

Principal Research Scientist Jarod Lyon said: “The surveys will provide Victorians with accurate information about the health of our native fish and our waterways.

“The information we gather in each check-up will inform the management actions we need to take to support our recreational fish species and the health of selected priority rivers within each CMA region across Victoria.

“We know that many Victorians, including anglers, are keen to know more about our rivers and this initiative will give them more information about fish recruitment, catchable size fish, waterway health and fishery values,” he said.

The research is funded under the $222 million investment into catchment and waterway health through the State Government’s water plan ‘Water for Victoria’ and the Target One Million initiative to get more people fishing on a regular basis.

Work being done is outlined below.

Region Priority River Target species
East Gippsland CMA Mitchell River Australian Bass
West Gippsland CMA Thomson River (including Macalister River downstream Lake Glenmaggie) Australian Bass
Melbourne Water Yarra River Macquarie Perch, Murray Cod
Corangamite CMA Gellibrand River River Blackfish
Glenelg Hopkins CMA Glenelg River Estuary Perch
Wimmera CMA Wimmera River Freshwater Catfish, Golden Perch
Mallee CMA Lindsay River/Mullaroo Creek Golden Perch, Murray Cod
North Central CMA Gunbower Creek Murray Cod, Golden Perch
Goulburn Broken CMA Lower Goulburn River Murray Cod, Golden Perch
North East CMA Ovens River Murray Cod, Trout Cod, Golden Perch

In other fishing news, the new Victorian Fisheries Authority (VFA) will commence on July 1 to support the sustainable growth of Victoria’s commercial fishing sector as well as recreational fishing.

Minister for Agriculture Jaala Pulford announced Order of Australia Medal recipient Gail Owen will chair the new authority, with Aquatic Scientist Dr Bernadette Northeast as Deputy Chair.

“This is an exciting time for fisheries in Victoria – with a new Authority, a new board and a brighter future for this important sector,” Minister Pulford said.

The Board, appointed through a public process which began in December 2016, will ensure the VFA’s objectives and functions are achieved and explore new opportunities for fisheries in Victoria.

Applications for the VFA CEO are currently being considered.

For more information on fishing in Victoria visit www.agriculture.vic.gov.au/fisheries.

Image Source – Mallee CMA (David Sickerdick)