Recreational fishing in the Tweed has been improved for this summer, following the removal of a significant tidal weir that blocked fish passage, Minister for Primary Industries Ian Macdonald said.

This is the first summer since the weir on Duroby Creek was been removed. It was located near the Terranora Broadwater, south west of Tweed Heads.

The project was made possible thanks to funding of $10,000 from the NSW Recreational Fishing Trust and the efforts of the NSW Department of Primary Industries, Tweed Shire Council, and the Northern Rivers Catchment Management Authority-funded Bringing Back the Fish Program.

“This is a great project – it’s just one of many worthwhile initiatives, as part of $12 million worth of projects provided by the NSW Recreational Fishing Trusts this financial year,” Mr Macdonald said.

“The rock and earth weir created an artificial tidal limit on Duroby Creek and completely blocked fish passage due to a weir crest that was half a metre above the mean high tide.

“So removing the weir means fish can migrate upstream into kilometres of potential breeding and feeding habitat.

“Native fish rely on a variety of habitat types to complete their life cycle and need free movement along rivers and streams to migrate to these habitats.

“More than two-thirds of coastal fish species – including Australian bass, sea mullet, short-finned and long-finned eels, freshwater mullet and freshwater herring – migrate as part of the lifecycle.

“Blocking fish passage stops many fish species from breeding and re-populating waterways by restricting their access to important spawning grounds.”

Mr Macdonald praised Tweed Shire Council and local fishers for their involvement in the project.

“I would like to congratulate the council for recognising the need to restore the natural water flow and agreeing to remove the weir. I am sure it is appreciated by all fishers of the Tweed River catchment,” he said.

“In particular, the local knowledge of fishers at the Seagulls Fishing Club helped in identifying the site and developing the best solution for its remediation.”

Seagulls Fishing Club president Charlie Howe said it was great to see the fishing licence fee going towards projects that are improving recreational fishing and the environment.

“Since the weir was removed we are definitely seeing better fishing in the area – a lot of good healthy bass are being caught up there,” Mr Howe said.

Money raised by the NSW Recreational Fishing licence fee is placed into two trusts, one for saltwater and one for freshwater, and can only be spent on improving recreational fishing in NSW. These trusts are regulated by law and overseen by two expert committees made up of recreational fishers.

Community groups, individuals, clubs and local councils can apply for funding through the NSW Recreational Fishing Trust. More information on how to apply for funding and a full list of trust programs is available at www.dpi.nsw.gov.au