3,000 trees planted to give Curdies fish a helping hand

Over 30 recreational anglers enjoyed a cool but sunny Sunday morning planting thousands of trees along the lower Curdies River at Curdievale.

The Corangamite Catchment Management Authority (CMA) hosted the Curdies River Planting Day on 22nd September in partnership with VR Fish, Heytesbury District Landcare, and local angling clubs from Curdievale, Cobden, Lake Purrumbete and Camperdown.

Attendees also came from further afield, including Australian National Sportsfishing Association members from Drysdale and Greensborough, and OzFish South West members from Hamilton who arrived in style, straight from the Curdies River.

The planting site on Will and Beck Rundle’s property is just a few hundred metres downstream from the Curdievale boat ramp, a popular launching point for black bream fishers from across the region.

Corangamite CMA’s Gene Gardiner said healthy riparian habitat is vital for fish like black bream. “Planting native vegetation along waterways helps fish by providing shade, reducing extremes in water temperature, filtering nutrients and sediments from catchment run-off, and reducing erosion,” he said.

“Since 1997 the Corangamite CMA has helped landholders and the community plant over half a million trees along the Curdies River, protecting over 70 kilometres of waterway frontage.”

“Through partnerships with angling groups, Landcare, and landholders like the Rundle family, we can host more days like today where anyone can join in and plant a tree. A healthy river benefits everyone, and everyone can help care for their local river.”

The Curdies River Planting Day was supported by the Victorian Government’s $1 million Angler Riparian Partnerships Program, which engages recreational fishers in riparian habitat improvement projects across Victoria.

The new plantings contribute to ongoing revegetation works which will protect 900 metres of Curdies River frontage, as well as 400 metres of a stream with remnant stands of Swamp Scrub, an endangered vegetation community on the Warrnambool Plain.

What else is being done to improve fishing on the Curdies River?

  • After the 2018 St Patrick’s Day fires the Corangamite CMA partnered with Heytesbury District Landcare Network to assist landholders replant and protect waterway vegetation impacted by the fires. This project is supported by the Victorian Government.
  • In 2010 the Corangamite CMA constructed a fish ladder on the Curdies River near Timboon to improve passage for migratory fish including the threatened Australian grayling (Prototroctes maraena). This project is supported by the Victorian Government.
  • The Corangamite CMA is working on a project to improve instream woody habitat in the Curdies River by installing timber ‘fish hotels’. Scientific assessments will inform the best locations for each fish hotel, and this project is supported by the Victorian Government.
  • The Corangamite CMA provides ongoing support and training for citizen scientists to engage in Waterwatch and EstuaryWatch, and manages estuary openings to enhance the environmental condition of our estuaries.

 

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