June 28, 2023

The Corangamite Catchment Management Authority (CCMA) and OzFish Unlimited hosted an event with recreational anglers and community members as part of a river clean-up on the Barwon River in Geelong in June. This event aimed to remove rubbish along the river and reduce the impacts litter has to waterways and native fish.

The Barwon River from Geelong to Barwon Heads is environmentally significant, it supports native fish such as Estuary Perch and Short-finned Eels and threatened species such as Australian Grayling and Platypus.

Event attendees engaged in a river clean-up, removing litter including plastics, tyres and household waste, much of which can last for centuries in our waterways and continue to harm our aquatic species for generations. This important work supported by the community contributes to a better environment for aquatic wildlife as well as birds and mammals who use the riverbank for breeding and nesting.

Community members also learnt about new methods that anglers and researchers can use to monitor fish and habitat, such as Remote Operated Vehicles (ROVs).

The river clean-up/walk and talk was delivered through the ‘Fish Habitat Restoration Project’, a three-year project which has delivered significant environmental benefits for the Barwon River, anglers, recreational users, and the Geelong community.

Six hectares of revegetation work has been completed through a joint effort with community members and anglers at Sparrovale Wetland Reserve, reducing erosion, filtering nutrients, and providing shade and future in-stream woody habitat for fish.

A three-week operation along a 4.5-kilometre stretch in the Lower Barwon River saw 700 tonnes of tree logs and root balls installed, benefiting numerous fish species and passionate recreational fishers. Restoring this habitat is vital to improving the fishery, providing anglers with more fishing opportunities while contributing to the overall health of the river and the range of species that it supports.

Corangamite Catchment Management Authority CEO John Riddiford said the project was a collaborative effort from agencies, local anglers and community members all working together to enhance and preserve the health of the Barwon River.

The project is supported by the Corangamite Catchment Management Authority through funding from the Australian Governments’ Fisheries Habitat Restoration Program and BCF – Boating, Camping, Fishing.


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