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OzFish Coffs Harbour Chapter

Chantelle, Toby and Elsa did not know each other beforehand.  But when they found out about OzFish they all joined up anyway because they loved to fish and could see the potential fish habitat restoration could give their fellow fishos in the future.

Geographical area

Until more Chapters are established, the Coffs Chapter will happily cover a wide area; Wooli to the North, Macksville to the South and West we will go as far as Ebor. We understand the fishing within this region is extremely diverse and this gives the Chapter enormous potential to have fun. Here, the traditional Custodians of the land and sea are the Dainggatti, Gumbainggirr and Nganyaywana people.

Rec fishers here can haul their boat off a ramp to chase pelagics or haul a jumper over your head and go inland to target freshwater species.  There are so many fishing clubs within the Chapter starting from the long-standing anglers clubs, flatty fishing fans, spearos, fly-fishers, kayak fishers, rock fishers and 4WD beach fishing junkies.

Everyone has their own story and experience that helps us understand what the fishing was like before and now when it comes to the species, numbers and their sizes to what we see today. We want to hear these stories.

Coffs Harbour Jetty

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What fishing are you famous for?

The Coffs Coast is famous for the Big Banana and being right between Sydney and Brisbane.  The town’s placement makes it a great place to break up a road trip and wet a line with their kids.  If the family can catch and release a flatty and a bream, they are likely to come back next year which is good for the town’s economy.

The region is also a transitional zone between tropical and cooler temperate marine ecosystems.  The Great Dividing Range is very close to the coast here so the variety of temperatures, soils and water influencing our region is amplified. The region gets good runs of species of snapper, mackerel, bass, cod, trout, and mangrove jack, all within a couple of hundred kilometres.

Coffs Harbour has a subtropical climate and compared to other places in Australia, our ecosystems are relatively healthy.  When you and your friends go out on a good day’s fishing and you will sincerely believe you are in one of the prettiest spots imaginable in the world.

Jacks in the mangroves
Drummer off the rocks

Eastern cod released

Flatties off the beach

The Coffs Chapter holds meet-ups on a quarterly basis – Members Only


Membership packs include OzFish cap, sticker, facemasks and a $10 BCF Gift Card courtesy of our major partner.

What are some of the main concerns rec fishers have in the area?

Having regular meet-ups and a strong presence in the BCF store, which helps us keep an ear to the ground with whats happening in the fishing scene.  We often hear rec fishers with concerns such as:

  • Litter along the estuaries, creeks and the jetty
  • Pesticide runoff
  • Erosion caused livestock traffic
  • Lack of riparian plantings
  • Lack of reefs where there once were.
  • Commercial fishing
  • Overdevelopment

As a new chapter, we’re keen to hear what fishers view as the main habitat challenges facing the areas. So far, there are some really amazing ideas coming to this Chapter, proving fishos are not apathetic, nor do they just don’t just pillage and plunder whats left in our waterways. When you ask a local fisher what they’d like to see changed, many have really well thought out answers and great ideas as to how to make things better moving forward.               

Talking to fishos in the Coffs BCF Store
Counting crab holes and snails in a saltmarsh
Why do some areas have mud crabs and others don’t?
Cheeky fish in the canoe on the way back from surveys



Projects to do

Underwater Clean Ups


First things first, we want to hear from as many recreational fishers as possible in the Coffs Harbour area.  You could have bought a $20 hot-pink rod from the Coffs Plaza and use it only once a year or you could be a salty sea veteran heading up a club.  We want to hear from you.

Some main activities out team have had experience with is:

  • Shellfish reef restoration
  • Seagrass restoration
  • Cleanups (both above and underwater)
  • Habitat monitoring
  • Bank stabilisation and riparian planting.

So far, from the meetups and interactions we have had with fishers, the emerging areas of interest include habitat quality and environmental health in Coffs Creek and Woolgoolga Lake, clean-ups needed in our estuarine areas,  and saltmarsh restoration along the Kalang River.

However, we’re 100% open to new ideas as the chapter develops.    

Floods! – What do they mean for the fish?

When the rain begins to hit the windows of our cars, and the local sporting matches are called off, have you ever thought about what is going on in the places that already have water in them?

Find Out More