by Tim Mitchell
Revenue received from the sale of Victorian recreational fishing licences has provided valuable fish habitat and improved fishing opportunities in one of East Gippsland’s most visited rivers.
Licence fees at work for Mitchell River
Using $85,000 from the Recreational Fishing Grants Program, the East Gippsland Catchment Management Authority has placed 30 log structures into the lower Mitchell River, below the cut at Eagle Point.
Fisheries Victoria Executive Director, Anthony Hurst, said the Mitchell River has experienced a gradual reduction of suitable fish habitat.
'Installation of the submerged logs will provide new in-stream habitat for key recreational fish species such as estuary perch, black bream and luderick,' Mr Hurst said.
Strategically placed, the timber structures will enhance links with existing habitat, and host plants and small animals that will soon become food and shelter for fish.
The eight metre long logs have been secured to single piles driven into the river bed, a method that has been successful in the lower Genoa and Snowy rivers.
Catchment Planner for the East Gippsland Catchment Management Authority, Jen Smith, said the placement of log structures has been monitored over several years and proven to be successful in providing excellent fish habitat, shelter and food.
This project forms part of a broader program to restore the lower reaches of the Tambo, Nicholson and Mitchell rivers.
Since its inception in 2001, the Recreational Fishing Grants Program has funded more than 345 projects worth more than $13.5 million throughout Victoria.
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