Works to rehabilitate instream habitat for endangered Macquarie perch in the Hughes Creek are being planned by the Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority (CMA).
Project Manager Christine Glassford from the Goulburn Broken CMA said the focus of the project would be to re-establish depth and shelter in the creek and re-introduce large wood (snags) to improve habitat quality and increase the resilience of the Macquarie perch population in the Creek.
“Will Trueman, author of True Tales of the Tout Cod, a keen fisherman and returning resident to the region, walked some of the Hughes Creek late last year and identified several degraded Macquarie perch habitat sites where works could be undertaken to increase the depth of the creek and re-introduce large wood, or snags,” Ms Glassford said.
“Will has a great deal of knowledge about native fish and the Hughes Creek, and we are very grateful he took the time and initiative to walk key sections of the creek and provide us with a report identifying priority sites for potential investment in instream habitat works.
“It is hoped habitat works at these sites, which are downstream of the gorge, can once again provide suitable habitat for Macquarie perch and extend their range downstream from the gorge in the Hughes Creek.
“The three sites will be treated as trial sites initially, so fish, macro invertebrate and instream channel feature surveys will be carried out before and after works to measure the success of the works.
“This is an exciting project, and we would like to learn from it so we can apply the best techniques to achieve the outcomes we want for future native fish habitat enhancement projects in the Goulburn Broken Catchment,” Ms Glassford said.
The Goulburn Broken CMA is investigating the possibility of using large wood stockpiled following the recent Creighton’s Creek fires for re-snagging, and working with adjoining landholders to negotiate and finalise agreements before works commence.
Ms Glassford said other potential sites identifies in Will Trueman’s report are being investigated and further habitat enhancement works could occur at other sites in the future.
For more information on the Hughes Creek Project contact Christine Glassford at the Yea office of the Goulburn Broken CMA on 5797 4400.