Curdies Estuary Fish Habitat Restoration Project

Fish Hotels and Rootballs

In August 2022, The Corangamite Catchment Management Authority (CMA) placed thirty-two fish hotels/ Rootball combinations in four sections of the lower Curdies River.

Fish hotels provide habitat for threatened Australian Grayling and other aquatic wildlife including fish, frogs, platypus, water rats, insects and birds.

The Fish Hotels are designed to replace large woody debris (LWD) which has been absent from this section of the river for decades. LWD is important for fish, serving as protection, as well as a source of food. It becomes coated in algae, which in itself is a food source for smaller animals, which then feed the food chain all the way up to Black Bream and Estuary Perch.

Instream Woody Habitat mapping 2015

The project began when the Arthur Rylah Institute did a survey of the Lower Curdies to find out how much LWD was present. Instream Woody Habitat study. 

The results can been seen in the map images above.

The full study paper can be found here: Corangamite CMA Knowledge Base - Instream woody habitat mapping of the Curdies Estuary (

This project is supported by Corangamite CMA, through funding from the Australian Government’s Fisheries Habitat Restoration Program.

Timber for this project is supplied thanks to a timber re-use agreement between Regional Roads Victoria and the Corangamite CMA to recycle timber from infrastructure projects into habitat.

Where are the fish hotels located?

The hotels have been placed in four sections in the Lower Curdies at depths of 2-8 metres.

None of the hotels are positioned in the waterski zone.

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