OzFish has welcomed the announcement yesterday from the NSW Government of a $13.5 million investment to install state-of-the-art irrigation screens along the Macquarie River.
The project will see 70% of the water that is extracted from the Macquarie River between Burrendong Dam to the Macquarie Marshes, including Narromine, Trangie and Warren protected with modern fish friendly irrigation screens, keeping native fish in rivers.
OzFish have been a leading advocate for fish screens for several years supporting the establishment of Fish Screens Australia and contributing to the advisory panel made of irrigators, rec fishers, government and scientists.
Craig Copeland, Founder and CEO of OzFish Unlimited says that the government’s announcement is a big step forward.
“This announcement is an example of what is possible when government, irrigators and recreational fishers work together on creating positive change,” said Craig.
“I applaud the irrigators and the agricultural community; each new screen will save millions of fish and save them time and money unblocking them regularly.
“We have always known this is a problem and to now have the funding to support the improvements is great news. We know from overseas examples that support like this will see a greater momentum of uptake, collaboratively working with all parties to find a solution that everyone benefits.
“At OzFish we enjoy a grassroots network of volunteers with deep roots in their communities and incredible passion for the waters they live, love and fish. And that’s intrinsically the same for our farmers.
“There is a lot more work to be done, there are thousands of pumps in the Basin but this is a big step forward,” said Craig.