Marron to get new homes from repurposed trees  

Western Australia’s iconic freshwater crayfish, the Marron, is set to benefit from new homes in the form of repurposed tree logs and stumps discarded from the construction of the Bunbury Ring Road project.

OzFish Unlimited, Australia’s only recreational fishing charity, is working with South West Gateway Alliance and local partners to place the repurposed tree stumps into the Harvey River over the coming months to create much-needed habitat for the endemic freshwater crayfish.

Marron are the largest freshwater crayfish in Western Australia and fishing for them has long been a popular recreational pastime.

This project will see OzFish volunteers turn the stumps into complex habitat, known as snags. The snags will provide the marron with a source of shade, shelter, food and a place to rest.

Steve Pursell, OzFish Program Manager for WA, believes that if successful, this technique could play an important role in supporting marron numbers in the area.

“The large woody structures provide marron, particularly juveniles, important habitat for food and protection from predators,” Mr Pursell said.

“Marron thrive in lots of complex habitat, particularly things like woody logs which are unfortunately lacking in many waterways having been removed for various reasons over the last hundred years.

“The part of the river we will be working in has been artificially straightened and resembles an agricultural drain.

“Research also suggests Marron  are often territorial and won’t move far if the habitat is healthy, so we want to give them a reason to stick around.

“Placed in the right location, they will be the perfect homes and communities for them to begin naturally thriving. And more habitat will mean more marron  for WA’s recreational fishers.

OzFish is working with project partners to identify the locations best suited for the snags to be installed. The OzFish team will bring best practice methods developed across the organisation’s Australia-wide activities to assist partners with design, installation, and subsequent monitoring of the habitats.


This stage of the project was made possible by the WA Government’s Recreational Fishing Initiatives Fund and is the first Marron habitat project OzFish has undertaken. It is the latest stage of work in the Marron, More Than a Meal Program being led by the Harvey River Restoration Taskforce with funding and support through the WA government’s Small Grants Program, the State NRM program, Greening Australia, Peel-Harvey Catchment Council, and Alcoa Foundation.

Other partners include Water Corporation, Department of Water & Environmental Regulation, Harvey Aboriginal Corporation, Murdoch University Harry Butler Institute,  Recfishwest, and BCF – Boating, Camping, Fishing.