Bringing Back the Fish Project reports

Bringing Back the Fish was a very successful project addressing fish passage issues along the coast of NSW.  As a result of the project:

  • 86 poorly-designed weirs, road crossings or floodgates were fixed
  • 1,235 kilometres of additional waterway in coastal NSW was opened up for fish to access
  • nearly 2,000 hectares of aquatic habitat across 8 sites was improved. Innovative techniques including installation of seagrass friendly boat moorings, riverbank stabilisation works, and improved floodgate management were used.

The Bringing Back the Fish project met or exceeded its targets. The project identified and prioritised floodgate barriers on the NSW coast south of the Manning River, targeted the removal and remediation of high priority barriers to migratory fish, and rehabilitated aquatic habitats from Eden in the south to Tweed Heads in the north.

This project is a continuation of Industry & Investment NSW (now NSW Department of Primary Industries) efforts to bring fish back to the State’s coastal catchments through improving fish access to high quality habitats. Funded by the Federal Government via the five coastal Catchment Management Authorities (now Local Land Services), the Bringing Back the Fish project was managed by the Conservation Action Unit of I&I NSW.

Partnerships were developed with key stakeholders including recreational and commercial fishermen, local councils, State government departments, and water management authorities – improving their knowledge about fish friendly structures and allowing this to be incorporated into everyday management activities. More than $9 million was contributed toward making the State’s coastal waterways more fish friendly as part of the Bringing Back the Fish project. The $3 million initial project funding attracted $4.2 million of State government and inkind contributions from project partners, and a further $1.9 million of Federal funds.