Frenchmans Creek

Frenchmans Creek is a short but extremly important tributary of the Murray River in west New South Wales.

Historical widespread removal of structural woody habitat in Australia’s inland river systems, including the Murray Darling Basin and beyond, is recognised as a significant factor in the decline of native fish populations.

OzFish Sunraysia Chapter and key stakeholders utilised their collective expertise and equipment to map all woody habitats that are located within two vital off-stream waterways, Frenchman’s creek and Rufus River, which are tributaries to the Murray River.


The recreational fishers used fish finder sonars to map all the woody structure located beneath the water surface in the entire Frenchman’s Creek and Rufus River, which is over 40km of waterway.

Habitat mapping is a technique that uses fish finder sonars to see all the woody structure that is located beneath the water surface.

The information collected will greatly influence future habitat restoration projects and increase environmental knowledge of volunteers.

Fish for the future

Wetlands and off-channel creek systems, such as Frenchman’s creek and Rufus River are amongst the most productive environments within the Murray Darling Basin as they provide essential habitats for various aquatic species.

The information from the habitat mapping and consultation with the local community members and agencies will be used to identify and prioritize sections of the creek that is lacking in habitat, yet suitable for reinstatement and restoration.

OzFish Sunraysia Chapter and its volunteers will now use this information to reintroduce important habitat for several small and large-bodied endangered native fish species


22 NOVEMBER 2021 | Why Habitat Mapping Is The Key To Installing Woody Habitats

We all see the fantastic vision of a large machines dropping woody snags and rocks into the river, but how exactly do OzFishers decide where to put those grand new habitats? Recreational anglers, researchers and land managers broadly know the types of habitats found in their local waterways, but detailed information is usually patchy and highly variable, particularly in areas less accessible to the general public. Whilst we might see the top of a snag while walking the bank, this is only a fraction of what exists under the surface.

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25 JANUARY 2021 | Habitat Heroes Contribute To Conservation Of Frenchmans Creek And Rufus River

OzFish volunteers will soon be habitat heroes of a popular fishing spot at Frenchmans Creek and Rufus River having partnered with Fort Courage Angling Club to collect valuable data as citizen scientists which will be used to guide future fish habitat restoration projects in the region.

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The project was funded by Wentworth Shire Council and BCF-Boating, Camping, Fishing