Freshwater anglers can look forward to healthier fisheries in the Ovens River and Little Snowy Creek thanks to a new project to restore in-stream fish habitats and revegetate the bankside.
The new improvements are one of the first projects funded through the Andrews Labor Government’s Target One Million plan which aims to get more people fishing, more often.
Improving fishing opportunities and facilities is a key component of the Target One Million plan, which will grow participation to one million anglers by 2020, boost fish stocking from three to five million per annum and strengthen angling club membership.
The new restoration works will help repair the damage done to both stretches of water through historic gold dredging, channel straightening and de-snagging.
A key component of the rehabilitation works will be the installation of boulder fields and strategically placed snags to create variable flows, scouring for deep refuge pools and sections of broken rapids for aeration.
This approach has been used effectively in other Victorian rivers and has benefited the ecosystem spectrum, from small aquatic organisms and forage fish to large predator species more popular with anglers, such as brown trout and Murray cod.
In the Ovens River, the works will be undertaken between Porepunkah and Myrtleford, while on the Little Snowy Creek the focus will be between the junction of the Mitta Mitta River and the locality of Little Snowy Creek upstream of Eskdale.
The works are set to begin immediately and will be a collaborative effort between the North East Catchment Management Authority and the fishing community during both planning and implementation phases. The project is due to be completed by 2016, depending on rainfall and seasonal flows.
Other bankside restoration works, such as revegetation, will be undertaken in consultation with local angling groups and will complement in-stream habitat works and angler access points.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Agriculture Jaala Pulford
“By enhancing fishing facilities and increasing the number of recreational fishers to one million across Victoria we’re creating jobs, supporting local businesses and strengthening our rural and regional communities.”
“Healthy habitats equal healthy fisheries.”
Quotes attributable to Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes
“We want to keep Ovens River and Little Snowy Creek great places to wet a line – that’s why we’re investing in long term improvements that will benefit anglers and local businesses.”
“Our Target One Million plan will give local families better opportunities to spend more time together outdoors.”
Reviewed 19 August 2020