Fish friendly councils top tip 9

9. Educate your local community about fish and river health

A growing amount of high quality information on native fish, river health and rehabilitation initiatives is readily and often freely available from other sources such as government departments, Local Land Services, natural resource management agencies and the Murray-Darling Basin Authority. Community engagement and education will encourage others to support and become involved in native fish and river health activities.

For example, information is now available on the management of coastal lakes and lagoons in NSW. The manual or artificial opening of these systems, also known as ICOLLs (Intermittently Closed and Open Lakes and Lagoons), to the ocean can be a controversial issue in local communities. This information is provided to assist agencies and organisations in their management of ICOLL entrances and in their communication with the public.

Council can ...

  • share information and knowledge via the Council’s website, in foyer displays and over the front counter
  • provide links to websites with information and resources about river health and rehabilitation
  • work with local schools to facilitate the establishment of a school education program
  • host a community riverside tree planting day
  • arrange for materials on native fish and river health to be distributed through visitor information centres or rates notices.

Fish habitat signs along an interpretative trail around Wagonga Inlet, Eurobodalla Shire

Fish habitat signs along an interpretative trail around Wagonga Inlet, Eurobodalla Shire

Fish habitat signs along an interpretative trail around Wagonga Inlet, Eurobodalla Shire, were an important action identified in the Wagonga Inlet Estuary Management Study and Plan 2001. Images Vanessa Price

Interpretative signs can assist local councils in engaging and communicating with local communities and visitors to a region. Providing information about fish and habitat such as mangroves and seagrass encourages users of the area to respect and care for these precious resources. Local councils can obtain funding for such initiatives. Eurobodalla Shire Council were successful in gaining funding through the NSW Estuary Management Program for their interpretative estuary trail and Shoalhaven City Council received funding from the NSW Recreational Fishing Trusts for their signs in addition to improved infrastructure for recreational fishers.

Fish habitat signage, Burrill Lake
Burrill Lake foreshore

Informative signage such as this on the foreshore at Burrill Lake provide fishers and the wider community with information about fish and habitat. Images Shoalhaven City Council

See also