Fisheries & Aquaculture News

New Partnership to Boost Fish Populations in NSW Inland Waterways

A new partnership between the NSW Government, the aquaculture industry, and the recreational fishing sector is trialing a new way to fast-track the recovery of native fish populations.

NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) Deputy Director General Fisheries Sean Sloan said that NSW DPI has teamed up with Aquna Murray Cod to trial the stocking of advanced-size native fish in the Edward-Wakool and Darling-Baaka rivers.

“Native fish species like Murray Cod have been severely impacted following drought, floods and fish kills and we need to look at new ways to help populations recover and grow more rapidly,” Mr. Sloan said.

The trial will investigate if targeted stocking of larger Murray Cod, together with mass stockings of fingerlings produced by DPI’s Narrandera Fisheries Centre, can help fish populations recover faster.

Five hundred externally tagged Murray Cod, measuring up to 40 centimeters, were released in April across five sites in the Edward-Wakool system in south-western NSW.

A similar number of tagged fish, including 50 surgically implanted with acoustic tags, have recently been released into the Darling-Barka between Bourke and Louth in western NSW. The acoustic tags will allow initial monitoring while an existing receiver network will detect broader scale movements of stocked fish up and down the river.

The external tags will also allow anglers to report any catches and inform Fisheries staff of fish movement and growth.

Both regions will also be stocked with up to 50,000 Murray Cod fingerlings during the 2023/24 stocking season.

In addition to the collection of data from acoustic and external tags, targeted electrofishing sampling in the rivers near the stocking sites will complement the citizen scientist reporting of tagged fish recaptures.

“This stocking trial and associated research will assist with assessing options to maintain the health and productivity of our inland river systems, delivering benefits to communities in western NSW,” Mr. Sloan said.


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