Living on the Lower Namoi - oral history
The Namoi River flows and floods, twists and turns its way over 800 km through north-east New South Wales before linking with the Barwon-Darling River. The land and waters of the Namoi catchment are the traditional home of the Gamilaraay people, who have a special connection with the surrounding environment. Whilst the catchment is now home to over 100,000 people, this connection still remains.
Some of the locals recall the river looking much different when they were kids, noting that it has changed significantly over time. There aren’t as many native fish and the water is no longer clear. The following stories have been given willingly by the local Aboriginal and fishing communities. They give us an insight into the history of the river, the fish and the people at Walgett.
"The river was crystal clear…you could stand on the bank and the water was that clear that you could see the catfish swimming around their nests." (Uncle Tim)
"We used to catch lots of fish including yellow belly,cod, catfish and black bream (silver perch) ..." (Barry Henry)