News / Blog
September 4, 2019
OzFish Unlimited, a national charity protecting and improving Australia’s fishing and fish habitat has launched its newest chapter today in Warwick, South East Queensland.
Chief Executive Officer and OzFish Unlimited founder, Craig Copeland, said the formation of the chapter was a great example of local people working together to help their local rivers.
“You don’t need to have any knowledge of fish habitat rehabilitation to get involved sometimes it’s simply people with energy, a passion for the environment and time that goes a long way,” Mr Copeland said.
“We know that by improving the quality and extent of habitat, fish will thrive.
“We see this as a positive step for the local fish habitat. It’s been exciting to see locals get involved as activating local communities is part of what we do.
“Your local OzFish Chapter is the place to get involved in local fish habitat restoration projects in such as re-snagging, riverbank planting or anything that will ultimately improve your fish habitat.
“I encourage local residents who would like to volunteer in fish habitat rehabilitation to connect with the Warwick OzFish Chapter either as a volunteer or a member.”
Long-time Warwick resident Ed Kemp is the new chapter’s President and the group’s second project is aimed at improving the Murray Cod breeding habitat in the Leslie Dam.
Murray Cod is one of Australia’s most important recreational fish and more habitat in the Dam will increase productivity in the Dam.
The Warwick chapter is the 30th across the country and has also set its sights on improving the habitat for Murray Cod and other native fish species in the Upper Condamine catchment.
For more information go to ozfish.org.au, become a member and get connected to your local chapter or contribute to this great work in your local BCF store. More information on the local chapter can be found at: www.facebook.com/OzFishWarwick
OzFish Unlimited were thrilled to support Mulgrave Landcare and Catchment Group's tree planting event over the weekend.
The day was a huge success, with 1500 trees planted by 52 volunteers to protect the banks of McDonnell Creek from erosion, and improve water quality entering the Fig Tree Lagoons and Mulgrave River, FNQ.
The event was well attended, with representation from Traditional Landowners, Landholders, local family groups and school children from 4 local schools, all lending a hand on the day. A big thanks to our Major Partner BCF- Boating, Camping, Fishing who also supported the day, gifting lucky winners with rods, eskies and chairs.
Well done to the organisers on such a successful event!
Want to know more about the project? Visit Mulgrave Landcare and Catchment Group's facebook page at facebook.com/mulgravelandcare
Want to get involved? Jump over to our Membership page to join your local chapter today!
OzFish Unlimited and Landcare NSW are joining forces to drive collaboration across New South Wales that will empower local community members to improve Australia’s land and water habitats.
Focusing on on-the-ground works to improve the health of fish habitats in their local rivers, the project partnership will enable OzFish chapters and local Landcare groups to work together to deliver river restoration projects.
Landcare NSW CEO, Dr Adrian Zammit, said the partnership will provide additional support for Landcare groups to continue their work with river catchments and waterways across NSW and collaborate with local OzFish chapters to improve their local aquatic habitats.
“We are thrilled to be partnering with OzFish to support the important work both organisations are doing to improve the health and sustainability of our most precious resource, water,” Dr Zammit said.
Director of Habitat Programs for OzFish, Cassie Price, said the project partnership will harness the power of the two grassroots, community led, organisations to develop programs that would improve the health of local river systems and fish habitats.
“Community Non-Government Organisations such as OzFish and Landcare NSW working together is incredibly powerful. Through this partnership we will be able to work across the scope of our expertise in land and water to greatly benefit the environment across the different landscapes of NSW. Not only will that benefit fish, but as importantly, whole towns and communities.
“Native fish in parts of the Murray Darling Basin will soon have more areas to rest, shelter and breed and the landscapes along our waterways will continue to improve with our united efforts,” said Ms Price.
OzFish Unlimited and Landcare NSW Project Partnership is funded by the Department of Primary Industries and BCF - Boating, Camping and Fishing.
Anthony Guy has been selected as this year’s Shimano Scholarship winner with the Junior Indigenous Marine and Environmental (JIME) Cadets Program.
The Shimano scholarships are intended to provide needed financial assistance to future leaders in conservation, fisheries and wildlife sciences and management. The scholarship also supports young anglers to learn about fishing tackle and techniques, provides industry networking opportunities at Shimano events and stresses the role anglers have in fishing conservation and advocacy.
For winner Anthony Guy, the once in a lifetime opportunity included a trip to the USA and Canada, with JIME CEO, Jason Ryan.
The pair attended the ICAST Trade show in Florida, followed up by a trip to British Columbia to fish with Fred’s Helmer’s Custom Tackle and guide, Brody Mansell. After just one hour on Fraser river, South-East of Vancouver, Anthony landed this 250 lb, 7 foot sturgeon.
About the JIME Program
OzFish and our Major Partner BCF are proud to support the Junior Indigenous Marine and Environmental Cadet Program (JIME), which offers students industry-related employment while still at Secondary School.
It is the Junior Guide Program that has grabbed the attention of the students, as it proposes not only a viable future but also a future that is invested in the culture and traditions of their peoples.
Currently, 20 students participate in work and training programs across the Tiwi Islands and Cairns, with further expansion of the program Nationally expected in 2020.
You can read more about the JIME Program by visiting their website
The Inception Point[caption id="attachment_5521" align="alignright" width="300"] Robbie Porter, OzFish Moreton Bay Chapter President[/caption] Leading the charge in this rehabilitation ascendency is OzFish Moreton BayChapter President, Robbie Porter, who grew up exploring and fishing the waterways of Moreton Bay. “Over the years I’d noticed how parts of the Bay are muddy and lifeless,” says Porter. “I always wondered why it had deteriorated so much then I researched the role shellfish play in water filtration and habitat. Without them the fish habitat and water quality will never be optimised and this dramatically affects fish stocks. I’d heard about other reef restoration projects around the world, mostly in America, and found out there were some happening in Queensland, but it’s become my goal to make this the biggest on the planet. Our goal is that in 10 years we will restore 100 hectares of Shellfish Reef and beyond that stretching many hundreds of hectares more.” Not only will that kind of restoration improve the water quality, but it will rejuvenate the aquatic life and return the Bay back to its former glory.
The Big PictureNational not-for-profit organisation OzFish Unlimited is partnered with leading retailer BCF, as part of its ‘Give Back to Habitat’ initiative to help projects like this in Moreton Bay. The opening of the Moreton Bay Shellfish Recycling Centre is just one part of the journey to restore Australia’s waterways to a healthy environment for aquatic life. Clean waterways and healthy habitats are vital for the sustainability of water related activities loved by Aussies, including recreational fishers. Placing used oyster shells after they have been sterilised by the recycling process, in the waterways is scientifically proven to encourage live oysters to return to the area, which has the knock-on benefit of growing fish populations. An adult oyster can filter between four and five litres of water every hour, meaning the restoration of shellfish reefs by OzFish will quickly make a demonstrable difference to the area’s water quality and fish populations. “What we’re doing here in Moreton Bay, which is just the start of a nationwide campaign, would not be possible without the dedication and support of our hardworking volunteers and partner organisations. I’d particularly like to thank BCF for their support and the national presence they give us.” said Mr Copeland OzFish CEO and founder.
Shells in ActionThe OzFish Moreton Bay Chapter currently has 70 cubic meters of oyster shells drying and sterilising in the sun, but that’s only a portion of the raw materials they need to get the project up to full capacity. “Currently we’re only collecting a quarter of the shells from the oyster shucking industry and only 1% of the shells from restaurants and seafood business in the Brisbane area,” explains Porter. “It’s a matter of time and money because shells need to be regularly collected. The task is environmentally important because we are using the shells to create reefs instead of having them end up in landfill. We’re working on establishing a deal with the Eat Street Markets and hope to get the funding to employ someone full time to collect the shells which needs to happen every 2-3 days or they begin to stink.” Once these shells are sterilised in the sun they are placed into bags and will then be used to recreate the reefs we’ve lost. [gdgallery_gallery id_gallery="11"]
Test SitesMoreton Bay is a Marine Park so OzFish is working with the Queensland Government to ensure its proposals do not harm the Bays existing values. OzFish Moreton Bay has already placed a test site outside the Park. “We placed a shellfish reef into a stretch of the Bay and found that there were an enormous populations of crabs, shrimp, bream, perch and mullet surrounding them,” says Porter. “The water was still muddy as it takes a while for new oysters to establish themselves, but it is positive to see new life where there was previously none.” They are aiming to create trial sites with an initial coverage of 13 tidal reefs and four subtidal reefs using the oyster shells nobody seems to want. It’s a pioneering initiative that will see new aquatic life and clearer water returned to the once glorious Moreton Bay area
How You Can Help
- Get the word out
- Volunteer and become a member
- Enter the Wynnum Fishing Classic (3-6th May)
- Eat your fill of oysters
UPDATE: As the Murray Darling River fish crisis has continued to unfold, OzFish Unlimited volunteers have been hard at work with the successful installation of five large aerators into the Lower Darling River. Read More
Passionate anglers who volunteer their time to create and restore fish habitat in Australia’s waterways, have been left heartbroken as mass fish kills continue in a 40-kilometre stretch of the Darling River, near the town of Menindee in far western NSW.
Australia’s recreational fishers are being encouraged to get behind a new Give Back to Habitat initiative to restore degraded waterways, improving habitats and fish numbers. Read More
In a first for Australia, hundreds of West Australian recreational fishers will be taking part in a massive effort to restore the lost seagrass meadows of Cockburn Sound in the Seeds for Snapper project. Read More
Remember last year's Gone Fishing day at Tenterfield Dam? Lots of fun was had but conditions were atrocious, and organisers are hoping to avoid a repeat with a rescheduling of this year’s event to this Sunday, October 28.
OzFish Tenterfield chapter was founded by passionate anglers like Harry Davey who envisage a big future for their local native fishery. Good natural populations of Murray cod and golden perch can be found in the rivers, however they are under threat from land use practices. With a bit of effort from the community the waterways can be rehabilitated.
Connect to the chapter via their Facebook
OzFish will be planting Trees for Fish on Emigrant Creek, Saturday 20 October from 10am and we want everyone to lend a hand! Read More
IN SPITE of awful water quality, oyster farmers on the Richmond River are still hoping for a reason to come up smiling one day – and perhaps they've found it.Read More
We are thrilled to announce that the inaugural Ozfish Unlimited Wynnum Fishing Classic will come to life this October, with thanks to the support of our National Partners, BCF and event sponsor Bluefin Boats.Read More
The Australia Recreational Fishers Association Gone Fishing Day will be held for the second year on Sunday, October 14th 2018.
The day marks a celebration of all things fishing – where all Australians are encouraged to pick up a rod, get together a crew and get out on the water.
Here at Ozfish, we know that better habitat means better fishing. That’s why we’ll be celebrating Gone Fishing Day with a number of Ozfish supported events aimed at going fishing, restoring habitat, raising funds and most importantly – having FUN!
A big thank you to our partners BCF and Shimano for supporting our local events across Australia.
Want to get involved on the day?
Having counted down the days the weekend is finally here. And that means one thing - fishing! Reels and rods in hand, you and your mates set out before sunrise to your secret spot for a weekend on the water. As you excitedly cast off with your brand new hard body lure, you start waiting for a strike from a flathead; but it doesn’t come.
OzFish Unlimited and our major partners BCF are giving 20 keen fishers the opportunity to receive a $100 contribution to attend the Department of Primary Industry’s 2018 Fishers for Fish Habitat Forum in Ballina on the 24-25th August. The Forum is funded through the NSW Recreational Fishing Trusts.
Our membership drive has started and it's HUGE! Sign up now to help us create better habitat for better fishing and you'll have the chance to win some fantastic prizes thanks to BCF, our sponsors and supporters. CLICK HERE to start catching more fish thanks to OzFish and help us secure the future of recreational fishing in Australia.
What a competition! Thousands of photos submitted and they all told a story. There were lots of small fish but big smiles, there were lots of big fish and big smiles and plenty with no fish and still big smiles. It’s what fishing is all about to us here at OzFish. Read More
“Imagine a lower Murray where fishers can reliably catch and release 20kg Murray cod. Where fish and other aquatic animals thrive in a healthy river. This is the natural and cultural heritage of the Murray River and restoring it is well within our means. The clincher is that a lot of this can be done with little or no extra water from the Murray Darling Basin Plan.” Read More
OzFish Unlimited is proud to be an active supporter of the Shimano Indigenous Junior Guide Program. The Program provides indigenous students with the education and training to become fishing Read More
Fish habitat in the Tweed River is destined for an upgrade with the formation of our latest chapter. OzFish Tweed River Chapter is planning on addressing issues that degrade habitat such as erosion, sedimentation and fish barriers. Chapter members see great Read More
The OzFish family continues to spread to every corner of the map with the birth of OzFish Perth Chapter in Western Australia! Recreational fishers everywhere are waking up to the great benefits of forming an OzFish chapter. Thanks to funding from the Community Rivercare Program and BCF, OzFish Perth Chapter are set to Read More
OzFish would like to extend A BIG WELCOME to our latest group, OzFish Wagga Chapter!! The group have their sights set on the mighty Murrumbidgee River and are keen to see all local waterways restored and thriving with enhanced Read More
Project partners invite anyone interested in the Tuckean Swamp Project: Options Study to come along and share their knowledge of the area and ask us more about the project at Meerschaum Vale Hall on April 13th/14th. For more information see the flyer or phone Cassie on 0402 408 791.
The Inland Waterways Rejuvenation Association and OzFish Chapter based in Dubbo, held their 9th annual Lake Burrendong Easter Fishing Classic over the weekend. Read More
It’s a proud month for OzFish, with one of our power house chapters The Inland Waterway’s about to run their 9th consecutive Lake Burrendong Easter Fishing Classic. Read More
Would you like to help improve fish habitat around Cairns? Come join us and be part of a growing group of recreational fishers that are repairing fish habitat across the country. OzFish is offering a free presentation at the Yorkeys Knob Boat Club at 6:30pm on Wednesday March 7th. Read More
Being a part of the OzFish family certainly has its benefits. I recently had the opportunity to fish with one of our passionate OzFish Chapter Presidents, Harry Davey. He's such a great example of what OzFish embodies - loves his fishing and wants to Read More
A huge congratulations to OzFish's senior project manager Dr Ben Diggles and our OzFish volunteers for their extraordinary work in helping to restore the lost shellfish reefs in the waters of Pumicestone Passage off Bribie Island in south-east QLD! Read More
OUR GIVE BACK TO HABITAT CAMPAIGN IS IN EVERY BCF STORE RIGHT NOW! OzFish Ambassador Michael Guest gets behind our new Give Back to Habitat campaign which is helping every Aussie make Read More
OzFish's "Snagger Brown" is helping to inspire the next generation of female anglers to get into fishing and to learn about the importance of fish habitat. Speaking at the Lure of Leadership Read More
OzFish Onkarapinga Chapter members recently completed stage one of their project to restore their local river. The group deployed an impressive 180 limestone blocks into the 'Onk' as part of their plan to improve fishing in the river. Read More
Back in August we saw OzFish SW Victoria Chapter team up with BCF and the Warrnambool community in launching their Resnagging the Merri River project. After 4 months of waiting for favorable weather, the right conditions finally arrived. Read More
Most fishers know how important snags are to natives fish such as Murray Cod and are aware of the wide spread clearance of snags from the Murray Darling Basin. Unfortunately many of our coastal rivers have also been heavily desnagged Read More
A Star is Born
The first of its kind, the OzFish Richmond River Chapter was formed by a bunch of fishers keen to reverse the demise of their local fishery. Read More
Congratulations to our OzFish Chapters that hosted some impressive events for National Gone Fishing Day 2017. Here is the wrap up; Read More
"Some spend whole lifetimes searching for happiness. But whether you’re out on the water any chance you get, or haven’t been out for longer than you’d care to admit, you already know the secret to happiness is the simplest thing of all… fishing." - Australian Recreational Fishing Foundation Read More
Name: Kym Manning
From: Barmera, SA.
Job: Tackle store owner.
Loves: Fishing & fundraising. Read More
The Dahlberg Diver would have to be my all time favorite fly. Anything that swims and feeds off the surface of the water will be tempted by the Dahlberg. Murray cod, bass, golden perch, saratoga, barrumundi, even turtles and water dragons love this fly. Read More
If you love fly fishing for Australian native fish and are looking for a good fly this spring, look no further than the Donnie Brasco Fly. This is a great all rounder fly for species such as golden perch that school up in our impoundments over springtime. Read More
OzFish SW Victoria Chapter and BCF Warrnambool have joined forces in rehabilitating fish habitat in the Merri River. After an initial planting of some 500 native trees along the river bank, volunteers are now set to 're-snag' the river. Read More
OzFish Director Mathew Hansen is certainly a mover and shaker when it comes to fish habitat rehabilitation. The work he and his community have undertaken is nothing short of inspirational. Read More
CONGRATULATIONS HARRO! One of our most inspirational OzFishers, David 'Harro' Harris is set to continue his extraordinary work to restore and protect the health of the Macquarie River, as part of the work for the dole program. OzFish Unlimited are so proud of you mate Read More
Living in Lennox Head a common Easter activity is to get wet and muddy at the Blues Festival but sometimes you need to break out of what you normally do – change the 'status quo' as they say. So in 2017 Read More
Name: Harry Davey
From: Tenterfield, NSW.
Job: Supermarket Manager.
Loves: Freshwater fishing. Read More
Our Richmond River Chapter are doing an outstanding job in educating the next generation about importance of conservation of our waterways. The pilot program has been a resounding success so far with several local primary and high schools Read More
Name: Luke Galea
From: Mackay, QLD
Job: Supervisor of Waterways Team at Mackay Regional Council.
Loves: Trekking rainforest streams in search of sooty grunter, jungle perch and barramundi Read More
WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE? And why it's important to know. Take a minute to get to know yourself and your sport even more in this fascinating snapshot of Aussie anglers. By understanding why you love to fish and how it makes you feel, how you connect with other anglers and what you value most about fishing - you'll see that you're not just a 'fisho' but a guardian and protector to the future of our sport. ‘Recreational Fishers in Australia – a Social Snapshot’
Each winter Australian bass turn their minds to spawning. Biological urges compel female bass to head downstream in search of spawning grounds. Their annual migration can take them hundreds of kilometres down Read More
Sunday 28th March 2017 OzFish Tenterfield Chapter members planted 120 native trees (wattles, redgum and bottle brush) at the Old Bondonga Homestead on the Mole River, 42km west of Tenterfield. The seedlings were supplied by the local nursery. Read More
Last September Ozfish Richmond River Chapter partnered with local business Richmond Oysters and the DPI to trial selectively bred Sydney Rock Oysters, which scientists hoped might be more resilient in local conditions ....read more
We were successful with a grant application to Dept of Environment Water and Natural Resources. The project will deliver active habitat restoration in the Onkaparinga catchment, which is located in Adelaide and is under threat due to native vegetation clearing, littering and pollution.........read more
Sponsored by The Nature Conservancy these Capacity Building Seminars will take place in 2016 in Western Australia, South Australia, and Victoria. The Seminars will focus on Read More