Resnagging program to improve fish habitat

NSW Department of Primary Industries will commence a re-snagging program in the Darling River at Wilcannia to improve native fish habitat, NSW DPI Conservation Manager Aquatic Habitat Rehabilitation, David Cordina, said.

“NSW DPI in collaboration with the Western Catchment Management Authority is undertaking the resnagging work over the next few weeks,” Mr Cordina said.

“At least 500 large woody snags will be re-introduced at 12 sites in the 61 km rehabilitation area as part of the Wilcannia Make More Fish? Project.

“Snags provide important habitat for native fish, like cod and yellowbelly.

“Trees and branches that fall into the river are essential for the completion of the lifecycles of many species of native fish and provide refuge and shelter, feeding and spawning sites” he said.

“Re-snagging will increase the large woody habitat at priority sites where there are currently very few or no snags.

“Once an important trade route for river boats, in the past the Darling River had thousands of tonnes of snags removed for ease of navigation.

“Large woody habitats will be transported from the Nymagee region by semi-trailer and road-train to Wilcannia over the next couple of weeks ready for placement in the River in mid-June.

Removal of snags from NSW rivers has been listed as a key threatening process under the Fisheries Management Act 1994 because of its negative impacts on several threatened or vulnerable species.

These species include the endangered ecological community of the lowland catchment of the Darling River, silver perch (vulnerable), western population of olive perchlet, purple-spotted gudgeon and the river snail.

“We are excited about the prospect of having a healthier native fish community in the Darling River,” Mr Cordina said.