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The OzFish Clarence Water Quality Pilot Project is an exciting initiative to assess and better understand the water quality of the Clarence River and its tributaries. Undertaking this project on Bundjalung Country, we pay our respects to the elders past, present, and emerging and their ongoing connection to and care for Country. Join us in this critical endeavour to safeguard this vital ecosystem’s health, which supports recreational and commercial fishing.

Why is the Clarence River important?

Spanning a catchment area of 22,716 km2, the Clarence River is the largest coastal river catchment in New South Wales. However, this iconic waterway faces significant challenges. Erosion, land use practices, nutrient inputs, acid sulphate soils, channel modifications, and alterations to natural flows have contributed to an overall EcoHealth report card rating of C+ for the Clarence River. These issues have raised concerns within the scientific, fishing, farming, and broader community, particularly following the devastating flooding experienced in 2022.

Our Approach: Citizen Science and Community Engagement

To address the water quality issues in the Clarence River, OzFish is engaging its army of recreational fishers and conservation-minded community members as citizen scientists. By actively involving the community, we aim to raise awareness, empower individuals, and collectively work towards a healthier river system.

Assessing Water Quality: Turbidity, Colour, and More

Water quality plays a vital role in the survival and well-being of aquatic life. By focusing on the key indicators of turbidity and colour, we will monitor and assess the health of the Clarence River. Turbidity measures the intensity of light transmitted through water, as an indicator of suspended solids, algae, and organic nutrients. Through the data collected, we aim to identify sources of sedimentation in the river and develop targeted remediation strategies.

How Can You Get Involved?

We invite you to become a citizen scientist and actively contribute to the monitoring and improvement of water quality in the Clarence River. We will provide monitoring kits to interested volunteers, enabling them to collect valuable data over a 12-week period. Join us at our water quality event, where your participation will help us understand the challenges of the Clarence and work together towards solutions.

By participating in the OzFish Water Quality Pilot Project, you can contribute to protecting and restoring the Clarence River and its tributaries. Join our community of citizen scientists, engage in data collection, and help shape the future of this vital ecosystem. Let’s work together to ensure the health and sustainability of the Clarence River for generations to come.


30 October 2023 | Clarence River Water Quality Project A Small Sample Of The Power Of Citizen Scientists

OzFish Unlimited is harnessing the power of citizen scientists to help improve water quality in the Clarence River catchment area. A dedicated team of 20 volunteers have been collecting water samples at 41 sites in the region as part of a 12-week project, which kicked off in August.

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27 July 2023 | Clarence clearwater revival: Volunteers needed for Fisher Science Project

OzFish Unlimited is calling on community volunteers to help make a difference by collecting water samples to assess the health of the Clarence River catchment area. OzFish, Australia’s only recreational fishing charity dedicated to restoring waterways, has partnered with the NSW Department of Planning and Environment to launch a Water Quality Pilot Project. The 12–week Clarence River Fisher Science Project will kick off in August 2023 and OzFish is looking for at least 20 volunteer citizen scientists to collect water samples following rainfall throughout the catchment area from Yamba to Tabulum in the north, down to Coramba and Nymboida.

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The project is being delivered through the NSW Environment Protection Authority’s Flood Recovery Program for Water Quality Monitoring, in partnership with the NSW Department of Planning and Environment and supported by the Riparian Stabilisation Package. The Riparian Stabilisation Package is co-funded by the Australian and NSW Governments under Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements. This project is also supported by the NSW Recreational Fishing Trusts and BCF – Boating, Camping, Fishing.