Landmark Fish Habitat Agreement Signed

VRFish, the peak body representing Victoria’s 838,000 recreational fishers, welcomes the signing of a landmark agreement with Government agencies that will see felled trees in VicRoads operationsbe re-utilised to create vital in-stream fish habitat across Victoria.

VRFish Chairman, Mr Rob Loats said “We are ecstatic to see that our proposal to scale-up and take a state-wide approach in repairing and enhancing our fish habitat has been embraced by Government,” he said.

The agreement signed with Minister Jaala Pulford today will enable more fish habitat to be installed at less cost, while creating immediate environmental offsets from road infrastructure projects.

Last year, VRFish wrote to the Victorian Government seeking support to work in collaboration with VicRoads and recreational fishers to repair fish habitat and boost fishing opportunities.

 “Much of the cost in restoring our large woody fish habitat is locating and buying the wood and then arranging transport to the site,” he said.

In-stream habitat provides necessary shelter, food and breeding locations for fish and other aquatic animals. Many Victorian waterways have suffered from extensive removal of habitat and vegetation from the 1800’s until the late 1990’s.

“Put simply, habitat makes fishing happen,” he said.
“We commend VicRoads, the Arthur Rylah Institute, the Victorian Fisheries Authority, Catchment Management Authorities and Melbourne Water for coming together to establish this innovative partnership to make our river and fishing better,” he said.

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