Habitat Success in King River

The King River in the King Valley is fast becoming a hidden gem for Victorian recreational fishers after the success of a fish habitat enhancement project which has seen the return of many exciting fish species to the area. Anglers can now expect to see iconic natives such as river blackfish and Murray cod and it is also a hotspot for redfin, brown trout and rainbow trout.

The King River Fish Habitat Enhancement Project was completed by the King Valley Tourism Association in collaboration with the North East Catchment Management Authority between 2014 and 2018. It was also supported by passionate recreational fishers who are part of the Angler Riparian Partnership Program. The project, funded by the Recreational Fishing Grants Program, saw log jams and rock seeding created in the King River to improve the health of the waterways and restore fish habitat that was destroyed by the 2010 floods.

The aim of the project was to contribute to the river habitat, flood management and landscape development of the river along with the benefit of increasing recreational fishing opportunities. Over the course of the project, more than 60 large granite boulders were placed in the waterways, log jams were created, more than 250 hardwood trees and 750 native trees and shrubs were planted, and around 250 metres of fencing was installed for stock exclusion.

The combination of log jams and rock seeding provide changes to water flows. As the King River is a fast moving river, the log jams allow for slower river flows and deeper channel development to assist fish in creating a feeding and breeding site, a refuge from predators and can also reduce erosion in the area. Over time, the build up of debris in the log jams will increase their effectiveness. The installation of rock seeding encourages holes to form behind the rocks provide a refuge and cool water for fish during high temperatures. This enhanced habitat is vital for fish to effectively spawn, rest, feed, hunt and hide.

Log jams were installed at Sheppard’s Bend in Edi and Miller’s Run in Cheshunt.  Rock seeding was installed in the King River on either side of Gentle Annie Lane, Whitfield, Sheppard’s Bend and Miller’s Run. See the map below for more detail on the the fishing hotspots or download the King River Project Fishing Access Sites to see where your favourite species are enjoying their new habitat in the King Valley area.

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