Local fishers will get the opportunity to hear tips from one of the best anglers in the business, as well as fish habitat experts as part of an event in Mildura next month.
OzFish, Australia’s recreational fishing charity, will be hosting its free Small Bodied Fish Focus Forum on Thursday 10 November at Café 1909 in Mildura. The event will provide local anglers and community members with information to inspire them to become waterway stewards and how they can get involved in protecting one of Australia’s most threatened native fish species – the Murray hardyhead.
They’ll also hear from Lubin Pfeiffer, host of The Full-Scale Fishing Adventures and renowned angler, about big cod fishing tactics in the Basin. He will discuss how to select the right water, lure, which retrieves work best, and the best way to catch and release a big Murray cod.
The free event is part of a wider OzFish habitat restoration project in the area that aims to address some of the challenges facing the Murray hardyhead. A healthy aquatic ecosystem relies on fish and critters of all sizes, so while the Murray cod may catch the imagination, the Murray hardyhead is no less important.
This particular small-bodied fish calls the wetlands of Sunraysia home, but it has faced a diverse range of threats, including reduced habitat, drought, and competition with pest species.
Although not a targeted recreational species, OzFish are working alongside the Sunraysia Institute of Tafe, and First Peoples of Millewa Mallee Aboriginal Corporation to build 60 purpose-built fish motels for Murray hardyhead and other threatened small-bodied native fish.
The environmentally friendly fish motels are constructed of wood and natural rope and will provide a valuable source of shelter from predators, shade, and food. Once constructed, the fish motels will be installed by OzFish volunteers, using the organisation’s River Repair Bus to access sections of the lagoons across the Sunraysia region.
Braeden Lampard, OzFish Program Manager for the Murray-Darling Basin, believes collaborative habitat restoration projects like this can provide a sustainable future for the area’s waterways and native fish populations.
“Efforts across the Murray Darling Basin are being undertaken by indigenous nations, community groups and natural resource managers to protect and conserve this threatened species and OzFishis playing its part by providing alternative habitats and creating community awareness through education and engagement,” said Braeden.
“Under the project we are hostingfree community events and habitat restorationinitiatives, which are available for the whole community.
“We’re hoping that our actions will build a healthy ecosystem for the benefit of everyone for today and generations to come,” said Braeden.
OzFish, through the support of the River Repair Bus, will also be planting native trees and shrubs to protect key waterways from erosion and provide valuable shade and food for fish and other aquatic species.