Following the success of the 2009 Forum the Fishers for Fish Habitat program, funded through Industry and Investment NSW and the NSW Recreational Fishing Trusts, hosted the 2010 Forum on the 4-5 June at Lake Macquarie.
Over 100 recreational fishers from across NSW and further afield participated in the event and a growing movement to do something about the future of fishing in NSW.
The free 2 day event included formal presentations, interactive discussions and a Q&A dinner hosted by Scott Levi from the ABC's The Big Fish with a panel of national fishing identities including Steve “Starlo” Starling, Al McGlashan, Michael "Guesty" Clark and international guest fisher Tom Sadler. Participants also got their hands dirty for fish habitat during the Forum's field trip and planted 100 trees on the banks of Ash Island in the lower Hunter estuary.
A number of informative presentations were provided including:
Participants were invited to complete a survey at the Forum to enable coordinators to determine the views of participants towards habitat, the level of habitat knowledge and involvement in habitat projects. Results from the survey have been collated (PDF, 56.28 KB).
Participants were also split into groups according to the CMA region they resided or spent the most time fishing. Each group was asked to identify and discuss issues affecting their regions and what supporting partners needed to be involved to work on those issues. The results from this interactive session were provided to each CMA.
The forum was a great success and the annual event continues to provide an essential arena for recreational fisher engagement in habitat.
The enthusiasm of forum participants is highlighted in a Report to the Recreational Fishing Saltwater Trust Expenditure Committee
‘I found the forum to be excellent. It was very well organised with the right mix of presentations, field trip and interactive sessions. After nearly forty years of working on and under the sea it certainly opened my eyes to the importance of habitat.’ Geoffrey Shelton, RFSTEC member