starloRecreational anglers who are putting something back into their sport by improving fish habitat are featured in a new free publication from NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI). 

“The real-life case studies in Recreational fishers make fish happen! will inspire other fishers to get involved in making more fish, naturally,” said Minister for Primary Industries Ian Macdonald.

“The new 16-page educational booklet is a key component of the Fishers for Fish Habitat project, managed by NSW DPI.

“It covers the habitat stories of eight fishers such as Rodney Tonkin from Orange who has spent the last seven years working with various partners to remove willows and return native trees to his favourite fishing spot.

“The story of Kevin Clark from Kyogle who has been a key supporter in the removal of fish passage barriers in the Richmond River is another example featured in the book.”

NSW DPI Fishers for Fish Habitat co-ordinator Charlotte Jenkins said the project would culminate in the first ever Fishers for Fish Habitat Forum in Ballina on the NSW north coast on 18 and 19 June.

“Attendance at the two-day forum is free to recreational fishers interested in exploring ways to preserve and increase fish numbers,” said Ms Jenkins.

“The Forum will provide a great opportunity for like-minded recreational fishers to get together to discuss habitat issues and ways to improve habitat to help make more fish, naturally. 

“Fishers will hear how to get involved in rehabilitating fish habitat, what recreational fishers are already doing for habitat domestically and overseas, and be able to express concerns they may have about habitat in their area.”

Renowned fishing writer and presenter Steve ‘Starlo’ Starling will be attending the Forum in Ballina as a guest speaker and hopes recreational fishers of NSW will join him.

“Without healthy, balanced aquatic ecosystems, recreational fishing has no long-term future,” Starlo said.

“Because, without sound habitat, there will be no fish.

“The future of this wonderful pastime we all share such a passion for ultimately depends on us.

“Ballina in June is also a great time for fishing and participants in the forum will get plenty of opportunities to wet a line.”

To receive a copy of the new booklet or join other recreational fishers and register for this event, go to the forum webpage  or email Wollongbar.office@dpi.nsw.gov.au or phone (02) 6626 1200.

The Fishers for Fish Habitat project is supported by a Forging Partnerships Grant from the Natural Resources Advisory Council in partnership with NSW Fishing Monthly, NSW Council of Freshwater Anglers and the Murray Darling Basin Association.

PICTURE: Steve Starling (courtesy of NSW DPI and Fisheries).