Ahead of the NSW state election on 25 March 2023, the NSW Government caretaker period has commenced. Limited updates will be made to this website during this period.
Please report any fish death incidents or observations to the Fishers Watch Phoneline on 1800 043 536.
The NSW Department of Primary Industries (NSW DPI) has ongoing concerns for further fish deaths as dry and very low flow conditions persist across most of the NSW Murray-Darling Basin (MDB). As drought conditions continue, it is likely that a range of responses - including fish rescues and relocations and the formation of Valley-based technical assessment groups - will be considered in order to protect native fish stocks.
Native fish species, such as the iconic Murray Cod and Golden Perch, provide a strong social and cultural connection for communities of the NSW MDB.
Additionally, there are a number of threatened native fish across the state, as well as fish populations that are key to the long-term maintenance and recovery of fish communities both locally, regionally and across the entire Murray-Darling Basin.
NSW DPI will use the best available knowledge from experts, communities and recreational fisher to identify priority locations when assessing and planning for drought response work. Updates are provided on this page as is necessary.
DPI Fisheries is exploring all possible response options to protect and maximise survival of native fish during the drought. This includes, but is not limited to:
Minister for Agriculture and Western NSW Adam Marshall announced on December 20, 2019 that a fishing ban be put in place immediately surrounding aeration devices, which provide much needed oxygen levels into waterways in the Lower Darling, Lower Macquarie and Peel rivers. All methods of fishing are prohibited within 100m upstream and downstream of the aerators.
More details around this fishing closure can be viewed on our Fishing closures page along with the ministerial media release.
2018-2020 Lower Darling-Baaka River Drought Response and short-term recovery outcomes can be downloaded here.
Murray Darling Catchments