Fish habitat invigorated at Tarcutta Creek after years of planning

Volunteers from OzFish Wagga Wagga, in partnership with Murrumbidgee Landcare Inc, have given fish habitat in Tarcutta Creek a new lease of life.

The Creek has suffered severe erosion through the multiple flood events occurring between 2010 and 2016. The eroding banks meant overhanging vegetation was swept away along with snags. Micro habitats were smothered with sediment, reducing fish habitat to an all-time low.

After mass bank and habitat damage, community groups came together to find a solution to improve the waterway they love.

This habitat restoration project has been made possible with funding from NSW DPI Fisheries’ Recreational Fishing Trust’s Habitat Action Grants and OzFish’s major partner; BCF – Boating Camping Fishing.

OzFish and Murrumbidgee Landcare Inc sought out the best practice riverbank stabilisation techniques to restore Tarcutta Creek and improve their vital fish habitat. More than 20 large woody logs and 150 tonnes of rock were strategically positioned in the creek, 1,000 native plants established, willow trees removed, and a stock exclusion fence installed to protect the work.


The President of OzFish Wagga Chapter, Hugh Kanaley has been at the forefront of the project.

“The Tarcutta Creek habitat restoration project restored a significant zone about 1.5 hectares in size”, said Mr Kanaley.

“It was an enormous amount of work, but the bank is now stabilising, the fish have some epic habitat structure and the new plants on the water’s edge are flourishing.

“These activities will assist with reducing further erosion and supporting native fish populations targeted by local recreational fishers and protected aquatic species,” Hugh said.

Tina de Jong from Murrumbidgee Landcare Inc worked with Hugh and the dedicated volunteers of Wagga OzFish to increase the variety of plants species on this picturesque creek site. On one big planting day 1000 plant tubes were put in to provide more than twenty types of grasses, shrubs, and trees on the reserve.

“Over time many River Red Gum country reserves become simplified to a smaller range of pasture species and the large old trees which are very important habitat for birds, gliders and possums. Increasing the types of shrubs and grass present allows more diversity, which in turn encourages more insects into the fish food web and shading for in stream habitat. This impressive project will also help provide food for the birds on site which are on the threatened species list” Tina said

Braeden Lampard, OzFish’s Project Manager – Murray Darling Basin agreed.

“Habitat plays a critical role in a native fish life cycle, and the need to restore this natural habitat after previous flooding events was essential for local fish populations,” said Mr Lampard.

“During the project, OzFish Wagga Wagga increased the public interest and engagement in fish and fish habitat issues, restored vital habitats and donated over three hundred and fifty (350) volunteer hours to this great initiative,” he said.

OzFish Wagga Wagga and Murrumbidgee Landcare Inc would like to recognise the valuable support of its members. To support more of this work, please donate to OzFish over the counter at any BCF store or join the local chapter online at

Read more about the Tarcutta Creek Fish Habitat Restoration project