Off the back an overwhelmingly successful two-week rescue operation in Menindee, specialist NSW Government teams are starting a second fish relocation effort in the Gwydir and Horton Rivers near Bingara, in the State’s north. Minister for Agriculture Adam Marshall today joined the team in Bingara, which will be the State’s first rescue operation to move key native species to a volunteer-run hatchery, with the help of a local fishing club.
“I haven’t minced my words when it comes to just how serious a situation we’re facing this summer, we are in the eye of the storm and I’m making sure we’re in the best position possible to face this unprecedented disaster,” Mr Marshall said.
“We’ll be harnessing the knowledge of local recreational fishers, who will work side-by-side our specialist scientists, to find pools in the Gwydir and Horton Rivers most likely to dry up this summer.“We need all hands on deck to make sure we save as many fish as possible, and that’s exactly what we’re going to have here in Bingara.”
Using vehicles fitted out with temperature and oxygen controlled tanks, fish will be moved to the volunteer-run Bingara Hatchery, where they will be housed in tanks and bred to help restock our rivers when flows return to normal. Almost 800 fish, including Murray Cod, Golden Perch and Silver Perch, were rescued in a two-week operation in Menindee, and Mr Marshall is confident of seeing these excellent results replicated across the state.
“There’ll be more severe fish death events this summer and there’s not a lot we can do to prevent it, but we’re getting on the front foot while we still have a chance,” Mr Marshall said.“Through this unprecedented fish rescue operation – the largest our State has ever seen – teams will travel far and wide providing a lifeline for native species.”
This second rescue operation is part of the NSW Government’s $10 million plan to create a modern day ‘Noah’s Ark’ to ensure the survival of the State’s key native fish species from ecological disaster.