Thinking Fish – Moree July 2022

OzFish Unlimited and key government agencies delivered a highly engaging “fish focus” forum to educate and inspire the community of Moree. The relaxed talks were held at Moree Services Club with attendees having the opportunity to learn about local restoration efforts and how they benefit waterways across the local rivers.


Dr Martin Mallen-Cooper - The Good Ol' Days for fish in the Gwydir

Martin will talk about what has changed in terms of river hydrology and fish since the 1960s and what are the important actions that are needed to support fish. Dr Mallen-Cooper is an internationally recognised expert in fish ecology and fish passage with over 35 years’ experience in researching and delivering improved outcomes for fish. His research on the ecology of fish migration, fish behaviour and swimming ability led to the first successful fishways for native fish in Australia. Martin has worked with state and federal government agencies, water authorities, engineering firms, local councils, and community groups. His work has been published widely in international scientific journals.

Rodney Price - Too Cold to Swim - does it matter to fish?

Rodney will discuss the impact of cold water pollution on fish and highlight possible solutions. Rodney Price is a Senior Fisheries Manager working for NSW Department of Primary Industries – Fisheries in Freshwater Environment Branch (FEB). Rodney has a Bachelor of Environmental Science from Charles Sturt University and has over 13 years of experience working in environmental management, primarily in Fisheries. In his role Rod has managed a wide range of projects that include: weir and road crossing removal and remediation to facilitate fish passage; resnagging of over 400 large woody habitats and stakeholder engagement across a huge suite of aquatic habitat rehabilitation activities.


Stu Little and Phill Duncan - working and walking together to recover native fish

Phil Duncan and Stuart Little present a combined talk about the range of government initiatives and how we can bring the perspectives and knowledge of First Nations and Rec Fishers together to implement those initiatives. Phil is a respected Gomeroi man from Moree, Phil is currently living and working in Sydney and is Chair of the Murry Darling Basin Authority’s Basin Community Committee and has provided high-level advice to First Nations representative organisations, governments and key interest groups for almost 40 years. Stu works in the Native Fish Recovery team at the Murray-Darling Basin Authority. Stu and his team are responsible for implementing the Foundational Actions of the Native Fish Recovery Strategy and using the best available knowledge to support water planning and actions that support native fish recovery.

Dr Gavin Butler - small and disappearing - what is happening with small-bodied and threatened fish.

Gavin will cover some key species that once flourished in the Gwydir but have all but disappeared and some small-bodied fish that people hardly ever talk about but are important parts of the ecosystem. Dr Gavin Butler is a Senior Research Scientist with DPI Fisheries and has worked on freshwater fish for over 20 years. His research interests include age and growth, reproductive behaviour, larval ecology, radio and acoustic telemetry, and habitat selection of fish. Most recently he has been working on projects examining the effects of flows and barriers on fish movement in both regulated and unregulated river systems across northern NSW.

Dr Craig Boys - Fish Screens Australia - Better Farming, better fishing.

Dr Boys will talk about the great leaps forward in screening technology in Australia over recent years and the new $20 million screening program coming to local rivers. Dr Boys a Senior Fisheries Scientist who has led the development of screening in Australia. His research is particularly driven by the desire to bring international best-practice fish screening practices to Australia for the benefit of farmers and fishers.

Daryl Albertson - Water management principles for fish.

Daryl has been involved in water since 1998, from the first round of NSW Water Reform in Border Rivers, Gwydir & Namoi catchments. Since 2007 he has worked with the local Gwydir Water Advisory Group, which provides management advice for the use of Water for the Environment. In this time, he has developed a suite of Water Management Principles that includes local rivers, their fish communities and the Gwydir Wetlands. Over this time he has seen communities face many challenges in a boom & bust climate and within a highly regulated river system.

Thinking Fish is made possible with the support of the following organisations.