Doolans help threatened fish
From the edition of Agriculture Today.
Central West farmers Ambrose and Lisa Doolan are developing a demonstration reach - a stretch of stream that shows the benefits of restoring aquatic habitat.
Riparian areas in need of improvement make the Doolans’ Castlereagh River property,'Toorawandi', ideal for a demonstration reach.
Deep river holes are important refuge areas for native fish in unregulated rivers and creeks, but willow invasion has encouraged silting in an historic deep hole on 'Toorawandi'.
The Doolans will poison the willows and remove the silt to restore the hole. As well, a woody structure will be embedded upstream of the deep hole to encourage natural scouring to maintain it.
They received funding for the work through the Central West Catchment Management Authority (CMA) and NSW DPI will organise relevant permits and guidelines and help with the design for the structure.
In return, the Doolans will control some weeds along the river.
'As our in-kind contribution to the project, we are controlling honey locust and blackberry and have already made considerable progress with the honey locust,' Lisa said.
'We had already fenced off some riparian areas to recover from stock grazing and trampling damage.
'Funding will allow us to do more fencing, tree planting and weed removal as well as clean the river hole.'
The CMA has employed NSW DPI to establish two demonstration reaches in the Upper Castlereagh Catchment, home to two threatened species: the purple spotted gudgeon and olive perchlet.
One of its sub-catchments, Shawn’s Creek, is listed as a high conservation value creek.
The CMA and DPI want to hear from other Upper Castlereagh landholders interested in restoring their riparian areas, or modifying culverts and causeways to encourage fish movement along the river.
Contact: Sam Davis, Dubbo, (02) 6881 1284.
- SHARON MOLLOY
This story appears in Agriculture Today.