More than $315,000 in fish Habitat Action Grants awarded

Janelle Saffin MP has welcomed news that almost half of the NSW Government's fish Habitat Action Grants funding pool has gone to the Northern Rivers or North Coast projects for a total of 14 worthy projects.

FOURTEEN Northern Rivers and North Coast local fishing groups and land management organisations will receive more than $315,000 to improve local recreational fishing spots funded through NSW Recreational Fishing Fees.

The funding is part of this year’s, NSW Government $649,300 Habitat Action Grants program which provides recreational fishing groups, land managers and local councils across the state with grants to enhance the environment for recreational fish species.

The Habitat Action Grants are funded from the NSW Government’s Recreational Fishing Trusts which direct revenue generated by the NSW Recreational Fishing Fee towards onground actions to improve fish habitat and recreational fishing in NSW.

Angling clubs, individuals, community groups, local councils and organisations interested in rehabilitating fish habitats in freshwater and saltwater areas throughout NSW can apply for grants of up to $40,000.

Habitat rehabilitation projects which may be funded include:

  • removal or modification of barriers to fish passage
  • rehabilitation of riparian lands (riverbanks, wetlands, mangrove forests, saltmarsh)
  • re-snagging waterways with timber structure
  • removal of exotic vegetation from waterways and replace with native species
  • bank stabilisation works.

The local projects across the Northern Rivers, North Coast and Far North Coast to receive funding include:

  • Boundary Creek Restoration – $17,915 to Border Ranges Richmond Valley Landcare Network to improve fish habitat in Boundary Creek, an upper tributary of the Richmond River, by controlling invasive weeds and restoring in-stream native vegetation cover across 500m of streambank.
  • Boatharbour Riparian Repair – $39,265 to the Boatharbour Riparian Repair Project to restore a high priority section of the Wilsons River riparian zone, improving waterway health and fish habitat. The project will restore over 1.1km of degraded riverbanks.
  • Turning Topsy Creek Around – $3,200 to restore native riparian vegetation across 360m of key fish habitat on Topsy Creek addressing erosion and weed spread following the 2022 Northern Rivers flood event.
  • Fish Habitat Enhancement – Fawcett’s Creek – $24,166 to Kyogle Landcare to remove invasive weed species and in conjunction with native plantings will enhance fish habitat resulting in the regulation of the water temperature and reduction of sedimentation.
  • Bugam Waterway Restoration, Goolmar Creek – $34,514 to the Ngulingah Local Aboriginal Land Council to slow the water flow on a small stretch of Goolmangar Creek that has continually sustained washout damage during recent flood events.
  • Regeneration of Coopers Creek Bank – $19,994 to remove weeds from a 400m section of the bank of Cooper’s Creek so that native rainforest will be predominant. Removal of camphor laurel trees will increase available fish prey by reducing insecticidal camphor emissions and volatile oils.
  • Boomerang Creek Habitat Restoration – $28,310 to rehabilitate a degraded riparian creek system and restore ecosystem function. With the goal to enhance key fish habitat over a 775m of Boomerang Creek.
  • Uki River Carers – Tweed River Rehabilitation – $18,765 to Tweed Landcare to undertake restoration on community land that adjoins the Tweed River activities will include weed control and tree planting which will improve riparian habitat aquatic habitat.
  • Nymboida Riverbank Restoration – $13,043 to protect the Nymboida River and its ecosystem by excluding stock from riverbanks to prevent erosion and reduce nutrient runoff.
  • Coldstream River Riparian Rehabilitation – $22,030 OzFish to continue connection of native corridor work by regenerating and revegetating a further 380 metres of riparian with 500 native trees on the Coldstream River.
  • Upper Coopers Creek Riparian Weed Control – $6,537 To replace small-leafed privet and Singapore Daisy on the northern end of Upper Coopers Creek with local native vegetation.
  • Orara River Riparian Repair – $39,920  to Orara Valley Rivercare Groups Management Committee to repair riparian areas on three former dairy farms on the Orara River at Karangi, west of Coffs Harbour including livestock exclusion fencing over 1500m.
  • Fawcett’s Creek Riparian Restoration $39,360 to Kyogle Council for a collaborative project between Kyogle Council, Landcare and private landowner to enhance fish habitat along Fawcett’s Creek by restoring 1.62ha through weed control, planting of natives and maintaining riparian fencing.
  • Rewilding Narlu – Restoration of Fridays Creek – $21,867 to OzFish to rejuvenate fish habitat and natural landscape along Friday Creek to create a favourable environment for aquatic species and develop a thriving aquatic ecosystem.

Minister for Agriculture and Regional NSW Tara Moriarty said:

“These grants are an important way in which the Government can directly return the fees that fishers pay to improve local fishing spots.

“These grants mean that the next time you go out to wet a line there is a better chance of coming home with a good catch.

“Habitat Action Grants provide a way for recreational fishers, organisations and community members to be directly involved in improving fish habitat and improving recreational fishing opportunities. 

State Member for Lismore, Janelle Saffin said;

“These are projects that have been conceived and led by local communities.

“This is about improving the region’s waterways and putting NSW Recreational Fishing License Fees to good use.

“Projects funded under the Habitat Action Grants program include everything from managing stock access to waterways and revegetating these areas with native plants, controlling weed species, to reintroducing lost woody habitat into rivers and estuaries for fish. 

More information on Habitat Action Grants is available here.