News / Blog

Richmond River Chapter Education Program

Congratulation to our Richmond River Chapter who are doing an outstanding job in educating the next generation about importance of conservation of our waterways. This is the stuff dreams are made of!

Lake Burrendong Easter Fishing Classic 2017

A solid yellow belly

And so it begins! The behemoth of all fishing events, the Lake Burrendong Easter Fishing Classic! Congratulations to our OzFish family in the Central West…Inland Waterways, who work tirelessly to make this event bigger and better year after year! Also a big thanks to Shimano for their incredible support!   

Champion of Fish Habitat - Luke Galea

Name: Luke Galea

From: Mackay, QLD.

Job: Supervisor of Waterways Team at Mackay Regional Council.

Loves: Trekking rainforest streams in search of sooty grunter, jungle perch and barramundi.

Luke Galea is well known in Central QLD for the awesome work he does helping support his local fishery in the waters around Mackay. Luke is involved in a number of projects that have made a significant difference in improving fish habitat.

“We undertake all kinds of projects that ensures our fishery remains healthy. Everything from improving fish passage so they can move throughout the river system and complete their life cycle to installing fish hotels as refuges for fish.”

 “Fish hotels are artificially built snags that are designed to protect fish from the elements and predators and also attract sources of food. We recently installed fish hotels in the Goose Ponds Lagoons in Mackay which is a site relatively devoid of sangs and other woody debris. Months later, a fish survey revealed that a good number of large barramundi had taken up residence at the hotels. Recently, the invasive pest fish “tilapia” have been found here and installing these log hotels is an attempt to help build the resilience of our native fish.”


Luke also works with his team at the council to improve fish passage.

“We have identified literally thousands of fish barriers in the Mackay area. Most of these barriers are man-made structures such as dams, weirs, poorly designed culvert crossings and bridges that prevent fish from moving to other parts of the river system to complete their life cycle. We are currently focused on remediating the highest priority barriers in our region.”

Some barriers can be removed all together or a simple drain can be installed to allow fish to pass. However, if the barrier is located in the river with a drop in elevation a fishway or fish ladder needs to be installed.

“Often next to a weir or dam wall, a fish ladder can be installed to allow fish to move upstream. The ladder is designed to slow the flow and allows both small and large fish to pass. Without it many species just can’t survive. Improving connectivity for species such as barramundi, mangrove jack and sooty grunter will improve our fishery immensely!”

A fishway installed at the Marian Weir on the Pioneer River QLD.


It must be hugely satisfying after completing a project to step back and watch fish moving into parts of the river they have not been to for decades. However, to get results like this takes team work.  Luke advises;

“I would highly recommend to any recreational fisher thinking of becoming involved in fish habitat improvement to contact your local Ozfish group, fishing club or alliance. These groups are extremely valuable as platforms to have your collective voice heard! There is so much recreational fishers can accomplish if we group together.”

Luke with a cracker of a saratoga



Fish Barrier Prioritization Report

Fish Hotel Report

Lagoon Wetlands Fish Community Monitoring

View this article in PDF

Funded by the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation

Recreational Fishers in Australia

Recreational Fishers in Australia - A social snapshot

WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE? And why it’s important to know. Take a minute to get to know yourself and your sport even more in this fascinating snapshot of Aussie anglers. By understanding why you love to fish and how it makes you feel, how you connect with other anglers and what you value most about fishing – you’ll see that you’re not just a “fisho!” But a guardian and protector to the future of our sport. ‘Recreational Fishers in Australia – a Social Snapshot’ 

Pre and Post Spawning Bass Fishing Tactics

A Clarrie Hall Dam bass

Each winter Australian bass turn their minds to spawning. Biological urges compel female bass to head downstream in search of spawning grounds. Their annual migration can take them hundreds of kilometres down river to the eagerly awaiting males. During these cooler months’, large schools of migrating bass can be found …….read more

Tree Planting at Mole River Tenterfield

Sunday May 21st Now Sunday 28th March (Postponed due to bad weather) Ozfish Tenterfield and district will be hosting a native tree planting at Old Bondonga Homestead on the Mole River helping restore our local fish habitat. Michael Davey from Ozfish Tenterfield says;

“We are conducting a riparian zone replanting 42km west of Tenterfield on the Mole River . We are planting 120 trees in the area all of which are specific species for the area. The area has been severely damaged by farming over generations and we have the opportunity to repair a small part of that system with the view to doing much more in the future.”  

Come along and get involved and see Australia’s new way to fish! For more information visit the Tenterfield Ozfish Unlimited Facebook Page.

Super Oysters Bred to Survive at Ballina

Last September Ozfish Richmond River Chapter partnered with local business Richmond Oysters and the DPI to trial selectively bred Sydney Rock Oysters, which scientists hoped might be more resilient in local conditions  ….read more

Fish Friendly Farms Program

Our application for a grant from the Recreational Fishing Initiatives Fund in Western Australia was successful. We will be working with Recfishwest the peak recreational fishing body in Western Australia and the South Coast NRM group to deliver this program.

This program aims to provide benefit by decreasing the negative impact of agricultural activities on rivers, lakes and streams. It will delivered through a series of extension activities to raise the awareness by farmers regarding farming practices and the active consideration of aquatic habitat preservation, and the role this plays in sustaining and improving fisheries. It will also deliver on farm demonstration projects working with local fishers.

Habitat Restoration Project Onkaparinga

We were successful with a grant application to Dept of Environment Water and Natural Resources.

The project will deliver active habitat restoration in the Onkaparinga catchment, which is located in Adelaide and is under threat due to native vegetation clearing, littering and pollution.

The project will work with local rec fishers to deliver the outcomes………read more 

Fishers for Fish Habitat Seminars

Sponsored by The Nature Conservancy these Capacity Building Seminars will take place in 2016 in Western Australia, South Australia, and Victoria. The Seminars will focus on

  • why aquatic habitats are important; and
  • effective actions that can be taken to preserve and improve aquatic habitat.

The seminars will be delivered by OzFish Unlimited directors on a volunteer basis. And experts from relevant Fisheries agencies. These seminars aim to provide benefits to recreational fishers by developing and strengthening the skills, instincts, and abilities that fishers need in order to successfully preserve and restore aquatic habitats.


We would love to hear from you! Would you like to learn more about OzFish Unlimited to share with your local fishing club or community group? Would you like to partner with us to help you with a local habitat project in your area? Or perhaps you would like to set up your own local chapter?

We welcome any support from individuals, groups or companies who can help us spread our message to restore and protect fish habitat for the future of our sport.

Get in touch today.

Tel: 0435 828 116


Signup to hear all the latest news from Ozfish Unlimited!