OzFish CEO Rolls Up For Take 3 CEO Clean-Up
Craig Copeland, OzFish’s Founder and CEO, recently took part in a global environmental event Take 3 from the Sea and has called on the recreational fishing community to continue cleaning their waterways.
Nestled within the sixth-largest catchment in New South Wales, the Richmond chapter has fertile soils and plenty of fish. Unfortunately, the area has undergone significant degradation with the Richmond River being one of the most polluted rivers on the eastern coast of Australia.
To counteract decades of degradation, the local OzFish Richmond River Chapter is working to restore and protect our local river systems by improving fish habitat. Our aim is to reverse this decline to improve water quality and allow the possible re-establishment of a Commercial Oyster Industry.
You get everything fishing the Richmond region. Flathead, bream and whiting are easy catches. If you like a challenge, the deep holes that line the porpoise wall off the coast of Ballina are for you, inhabited by jewfish, luderick, tailor and even the odd snapper!
You will hear it a lot from the clubbies, fishing in the Richmond is good, but it was a lot better back in the day.
Saltmarsh are critically important to the health of the lower Richmond River and its fish population. These communities are important to water quality, bank stability and as fish habitat and fish food source.
OzFish Richmond River Chapter volunteers, Ballina Shire Council and Jali Local Aboriginal Land Council have noticed the historical decline of saltmarshes and loss of their benefits on the Richmond River and have joined forces to take action to protect and improve the last remnants of these precious fish habitat still remaining.
The Chapter has been monitoring and continues to work with various research facilities to investigate this apparent Rock Oyster variation with some startling results.
Once dubbed ‘Kakadu of the South’ for its abundant wildlife, the Tuckean was an engine room for fisheries productivity throughout Northern NSW. Unfortunately we now know that the modifications to the hydrology of the swamp, largely through floodplain drainage infrastructure, has resulted in poor water quality across it’s floodplain.
We have undertaken numerous riparian plantings including along Chickiba, Maguires, North and Emigrant Creeks. Many of these plants are now established and continue to be maintained by the Chapter. We encourage landholders to continue to plant natives and install fencing, this will help with the recovery of the riparian corridor. Ballina Shire Council continue to support us in these works through their Healthy Waterways Program, assisting with fencing, woody weed control and equipment for watering. We are also supported by a range of funding and inkind support to make these projects possible.
Our Richmond River Chapter are doing an outstanding job in educating the next generation about the importance of conservation of our waterways. The pilot program has been a resounding success so far, with several local primary and high schools taking part in the Richmond Catchment area. The students showed great enthusiasm for many parts of the program especially the bird watching and working with the microscopes. Positive feedback came from the teachers too, who pointed out how easily the program aligned with the syllabus set by the DECC.
Courtesy of a DPI Habitat Action Grant, OzFish Richmond completed a re-snagging project to a section of Emigrant Creek, North Ballina. During last century vast amounts of woody debris (snags) were systematically removed when communities relied more on maritime traffic.
It’s now a priority for all OzFish Chapters around Australia to bring back this vital ingredient to fish habitat and in fact contribute to all marine eco systems in our waterways.
Come and join us to help plant some trees along the Wilsons River! The river, part of the Richmond River catchment, is facing a range of changes, with the impact degrading fish habitat. A site that was once almost completely covered with woody weeds, including camphor laurels and privets, has undergone extensive weed removal and is now ready to be planted with native vegetation. This will benefit native fish, stabilise riparian banks and help reduce erosion. It will also create a source […]