Tackling the threats to small-bodied native fish together


By Josh Campbell
Land Services Officer - Aquatic systems project  
P:03 5881 9935  |  M: 0427 104 874  |  E: josh.campbell@lls.nsw.gov.au

Welcome to country by Jeanette Crew Mapping exercise

Last month Murray Local Land Services hosted the “The Wetland Warriors – Threatened Small Bodied Native Fish (SBNF) Forum” at the Deniliquin Golf Club. Recreational fishing groups, environment and conservation groups, Indigenous groups, water managers, scientists, and government agencies from across the southern connected Murray-Darling Basin (MDB) attended the event.

This year’s Forum built on previous events held in 2017 and 2019. The key objectives were to:

  • develop partnerships and break down barriers between community, government, research, and private organisations
  • discuss challenges hindering the recovery of threatened SBNF
  • showcase action-orientated recovery projects in the local area
  • and determine priority actions and species requirements in given areas

Day 1 began with presentations on some of the great projects improving threatened SBNF in NSW and Victoria, triggering discussions about successes from projects across the MDB and how key learnings can assist future projects. Later that morning, participants discussed the challenges hindering SBNF recovery, including breeding enough fish and providing suitable habitats to stock fish into surrogate or natural wetlands in the future. In the afternoon, the group visited the Deniliquin Lagoons Restoration Project with the Deniliquin Kolety Lagoons Landcare Group showcasing their Eel-tailed Catfish and Southern Pygmy Perch breeding programs. The tour also looked at the Edward River Revegetation Project, reducing bank erosion and improving habitat in the Edward river ski zone.

Day 2 started with some great presentations on breeding SBNF and building projects from the ground up to reconnect locals with landscapes and finished off with a mapping session focussing on potential sites for rehabilitation to accommodate SBNF in the future.

A great couple of days had by all. Another Forum is tentatively planned for next year in South Australia to ensure the basin community continuously recovers threatened SBNF in the connected southern MDB.

Deniliquin Lagoons field trip

Top left photo: Welcome to Country by Jeanette Crew. Top right photo: Forum participants during the mapping exercise. Bottom photo: Deniliquin Lagoons field trip.

This Forum was made possible through support from the Native Fish Recovery Strategy Recovery Reach Program, North Central CMA and Catchment Action NSW.

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