Broken Creek habitat enhancement to improve recreational fishing

More than 250 snags will be placed along 2 kilometres of Broken Creek downstream of Numurkah in coming weeks.

Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority (CMA) project manager Jim Castles said the project, funded by the Victorian Government using Recreational Fishing Licence fees, would improve recreational fishing in the creek by providing habitat for native fish such as Murray Cod and Golden Perch (or Yellow Belly).

“This area was historically de-snagged and dredged, so there is very little habitat for native fish.” Mr Castles said.
“In-stream habitat mapping was carried out in the Broken Creek between Numurkah and Nathalia by scientists from the Arthur Rylah Institute to identify areas that had a low density of snags.

“This mapping provided us with an excellent picture of the in-stream habitat in the Broken Creek in this section and allowed us to select areas where re-snagging would have the greatest benefit for native fish populations and anglers.”

Snags provide habitat for native fish and other animals such as tortoises and native water rats. Native fish use them to shelter from fast currents and sunlight and take refuge from predation. Native fish also use snags as feeding and spawning sites, and they are used as nursery areas for juvenile fish.”

Mr Castles said the snags for the project were sourced from a number of locations across the catchment.

“The majority of the Grey Box and Yellow Box stumps were sourced from trees that had fallen during the recent Wungnhu fire,” he said.   “Others were sourced from trees removed by nearby landholders and government agencies under permit.”

The snags will be spread out over a 2 kilometre stretch of the creek and have little or no effect on water flow.
“The snags will enhance native fish habitat, thereby leading to a more resilient native fish community, which will result in huge benefits for recreational fishers in our region,” Mr Castles said.

“An electrofishing survey will be carried out prior to the snags being placed in the creek to assess the native fish population in the area.” he said.  “This will allow us to measure population increases within the Broken Creek in the future.”

For more information about the project phone Jim Castles on 5820 1100 or email jimc@gbcma.vic.gov.au

Habitat improvement works for native fish such as Murray Cod and Golden Perch (or Yellow Belly) will benefit recereational fishing.