Home / Projects / River Resnagging and Fish Hotels / Butlers Creek, Mildura VIC

OzFish Sunraysia Chapter delivered more than 200 hours of time to making this project a success – improving the habitat in Butlers Creek to support native fish species.

The entire five km of habitat

mapped

50 woody and rock habitat

installed

Two community engagement

events held

Butler’s Creek Resnagging
Butler’s Creek Resnagging

In April 2020, the OzFish Chapter added to the Butlers Creek habitat project by installing additional snags to ensure native fish can have more places to breed, feed, and shelter from predators. The habitat was installed in key sections that were identified with the consultation of local expertise.

Riparian Planting and Management
Riparian Planting and Management

Sunraysia OzFish members worked collaboratively with Parks Victoria, Mallee Catchment Management Authority and traditional owners planting 600 native plants along a stretch of Butlers Creek. The native vegetation will create habitat for a range of animals

Habitat Hotels Installed
Habitat Hotels Installed

With habitat playing a major role in the life-cycle for native fish, the need for more snags in the Murray River and in off-stream habitats like Butlers Creek is essential. Native fish use snags as a refuge from fast-flowing rivers and predators, as a place to breed and to predate.

Community Pest Fish Eradication
Community Pest Fish Eradication

Catch-a-carp days were held to reduce the numbers of Common Carp and create awareness about the importance of native fish and their habitat requirements. The project was managed by Sunraysia OzFish members to increase public interest in fish habitat issues.

Habitat Mapping
Habitat Mapping

Sunraysia OzFish volunteers used modernized fishing sounders to map all fish habitat structures in Butlers Creek. While undertaking the habitat mapping, the Sunraysia OzFish members also considered where a potential designated fishing zone could be established for recreational anglers.

 

Understanding the importance of healthy habitats

Large woody habitats and rocky reefs are an important form of structural habitat in lowland rivers. They provide breeding grounds for native fish, assist in creating natural scour pools, decrease erosion and improve water quality by oxygenating the water.

The woody and rocky habitats are also the building blocks of the aquatic food web, attracting macroinvertebrates that small-bodied fish prey on.

The project began by mapping Butlers Creek, to identify gaps in structural habitat. This informed the positioning of the 10 large woody habitats and 40 limestone rocks installed as part of this project.

The habitat mapping was done from a vessel fitted with Lowrance Side Scan Sonar, providing clear and accurate imagery of the riverbed.

Preserving Butlers Creek for current and future generations

Butlers Creek is home to a range of native fish species and wildlife.

OzFish Sunraysia Chapter engaged local community members and recreational anglers to support the activity which restored significant amounts of health habitat to the creek. This included two community events which equipped local people with the insight needed to be stewards of their nearby waterways.

The group put in more than 200 hours across the events, undertaking habitat mapping, installing the woody and rocky habitats, and monitoring the impact of the project.

 

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The project was funded by Mildura Rural City Council and BCF – Boating, Camping, Fishing. It was also supported by: