Home / Projects / Wambuul-Macquarie River, NSW

The project was delivered as part of the Australian Government’s Murray-Darling Healthy Rivers Program, which aims to improve the health and condition of rivers and wetlands across the Basin. It has also been supported by the OzFish-Landcare partnership with Dubbo Rivercare. 

2500 trees


151 volunteers


13 community groups

and schools working together

Increasing numbers of native trees and shrubs on the riverbank has a direct positive impact on fish in the area.

Trees create a shade corridor, enabling the fish to move more freely, and the insects that drop out of the trees are a source of food. 

This helps the fish to move upstream, with shaded areas to rest and food to eat on their journey.  

The project planted a total of 2,500 native trees and shrubs and has held three community tree planting days, including one for schools, to achieve this goal goal.

The restoration project has increased the local OzFish Inland Waterways Chapter’s tree planting tally to more than 10,000. This impressive achievement will benefit the fish but also platypus, rakali, birds, lizards, and turtles in the area. It also further improves the health of the river by minimising erosion along its banks and raising the carbon input, which stimulates the aquatic food cycle.  

Importance of community networking to river conservation

As well as OzFish and Taronga Western Plains Zoo, other organisations involved in the project include Dubbo Rivercare, Wambangalang Environmental Education Centre, Transition Dubbo,  Healthy Rivers Dubbo,  Skillset Senior College Dubbo Dubbo Environment Group, Dubbo Field Nats, Western Paddlers NSW and Buninyong Public School.  

This  project  builds  on  many years of other community efforts to improve the health of the river. These have included: advocacy and funding for fish screens on pumps; weed control and planting of native trees by Dubbo Rivercare; and OzFish Inland Waterways Chapter and the OzFish River Repair Bus delivering a range of activities such as resnagging, planting, litter collection, lobbying for pollutant traps, and education workshops. 


Taronga Western Plains Zoo’s restoration role

Taronga Western Plains Zoo is involved in many conservation programs on both a local and global level. This project, in partnership with OzFish, adds to the Zoos efforts for native fish on the Wambuul-Macquarie River and catchment. Other initiatives include holding an insurance population of Southern Purple Spotted Gudgeons and installing a fish screen on the pump that takes water from the Wambuul-Macquarie River, ensuring no fish are taken from the river system.   

On a larger scale, NSW’s Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries, and Department of Planning, Industry and Environment have been working on environmental flows for fish, mitigating barriers that prevent fish from being able to swim upstream, such as the fishway at South Dubbo Weir, and organising a large-scale rollout of fish screens on pumps. All of these various projects and activities, delivered by OzFish and a range of partners are complementary and each plays a role in helping to restore the health of this section of the Wambuul-Macquarie River. 

 If you’re a keen angler or river lover, get on board and give  something back by joining OzFish today.



OzFish-Landcare Partnership Success In The Macquarie River

Many hands make light work. Those hands when motivated by a shared goal and passion can achieve great things. That’s certainly true of our partnership with Landcare in NSW. By working together, OzFish and Landcare NSW are making a positive difference to habitat restoration. The scale of what can be achieved through collaboration was highlighted recently when one of our joint efforts in the Murray-Darling Basin reached a significant milestone. We have just planted our 10,000th tree along the Wambuul Macquarie River at Dubbo.

Find Out More

This project is funded by the Australian Government’s Murray–Darling Healthy Rivers Program. The Healthy Rivers Program is funding community-led grants for on-ground projects that improve the health and ecological condition of rivers and wetlands across the Basin, while supporting economic development and jobs. The project is also supported by BCF – Boating, Camping, Fishing and the local recreational angling community. Elements of the project are also being delivered in partnership with Landcare NSW through the OzFish Landcare Partnership Driving Fish Habitat Action.