River rehabilitation in the Upper Brunswick Estuary

As part of the Fisheries Habitat Restoration Program, 160 metres of riverbank along the Brunswick River has been rehabilitated to improve fish habitat.

The project is designed to result in an increase in fish stocks in the Upper Brunswick Estuary and involved the installation of composite timber and rock structures to help stabilise the bank and create fish aggregation structures.

The structures will also act as a mangrove recruitment area by trapping sediment and creating a nursery for mangrove propagules. Mangroves can play a significant role in bank stabilisation structures due to their unique ecological characteristics. The extensive root systems of mangroves provide excellent anchorage and stability to shorelines, protecting them from erosion caused by wave action and tidal forces.

Genevieve Maley, Land Services Officer with North Coast Local Land Services said mangroves serve as essential nursery grounds for many commercially important fish species.

“The intricate root systems provide shelter and protection for juvenile fish, allowing them to hide from predators and access abundant food resources as well as acting as a natural barrier, absorbing the energy of boat wash and dissipating their force before reaching the banks,” said Genevieve.

Further rehabilitation actions included planting 1400 local native species and excluding cattle from the riparian zone.

Peter Boyd, Byron Shire Council’s Biodiversity and Agricultural Projects Officer said this project has been identified as one of the most important rehabilitation projects to be undertaken on this stretch of the Brunswick River and it is only possible through the goodwill and contributions of the committed landowner.

This project is part of the Fisheries Habitat Restoration Program in which North Coast Local Land Services will deliver five projects to restore the health and functionality of fisheries habitats across the region.

Find out more about this Natural Resource Management project.

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