OzFish making fishing better through better habitat

OzFish Unlimited have recently released their 2020-21 Annual Report which highlights the incredible outcomes they have achieved across the country. Recfishers know and value the importance of healthy habitat and the impact it has on our fishing. OzFish is dedicated to activating recreational fishers to take control of the health of their waterways and have 49 chapters across the country which includes a total of 2,577 members.

Over the 2020-21 year, OzFishers supported projects by contributing 28,644 hours of volunteer work and there are 89 projects underway.  In Victoria, there are 12 OzFish Chapters who contributed a collective 5195 volunteer hours over the reporting period.

Many of the Victorian chapters had their volunteer activities impacted by the ongoing COVID restrictions during the reporting period. Despite this, they have been able to achieve some great outcomes for their local waterways.

An incredible effort to resnag our waterways saw over 224 structures placed in Victorian waterways to support breeding fish and food production. An additional 11 structures were supported by OzFish to assist bushfire recovery in the Cudgewa Creek. Further works are set to commence later this year in the Curdies River.

Following the success of the OzFish River Repair Bus based in Dubbo, Victoria’s Sunraysia Chapter started operating a bus of their own in August 2020 based in Mildura. The Mildura River Repair Bus covers all waterways from Robinvale to Lake Cullulleraine and is used for habitat restoration work including rubbish and weed removal, revegetation and improvement of in-stream habitat in local waterways. During the past year, Mildura’s River Repair bus planted over 950 trees, collected over 2 tonnes of rubbish, and managed thousands of riparian areas through weeding, fencing and mapping habitat.

The Sunraysia Chapter contributed 3425 volunteer hours over the past year. During that time, they installed structures into Butlers Creek (30) and the Lower Darling River (35), mapped habitat and waterways in their region, assisted in the rescue of dying threatened fish species from irrigation works in Mildura, ran multiple events and meetings, and supported the operation of the River Repair Bus.

Victorian Ozfishers have commenced efforts to restore 4 hectares of mangrove forests in the Hastings region of Western Port. These works will directly benefit more than 37 recreationally significant species through providing food, shelter and habitat as well as improving water quality and reducing erosion. Recent studies found 37 species in the mangroves of Western Port with fish abundance highest at the edge of the mangroves. For the Reel Big Fish Mangrove Restoration Project, the broader goal of the project is to restore 100-hectares of mangroves in the region.

There are plans for more shellfish reef restoration across the state, OzFish are working with Corangamite CMA and Port Phillip Bay and Westernport CMA (PPWCMA) for efforts in their catchments.

The Bayside Chapter cover bayside areas from St Kilda to Mornington and occasionally undertakes activities in Westernport when needed. During the past year, they removed several wheelie bins of highly invasive Northern Pacific sea stars from Mornington Pier and prepared a test site for a Brighton Beach Shellfish Reef.

The Fish Castles in the King project will see a shellfish reef constructed in the margins of Lake King. As part of the project, East Gippsland’s Chapter co-ordinated Twin Rivers Mens Shed to construct robust oyster baskets.

If you would like to find your local OzFish Unlimited chapter visit their website here.

OzFish Unlimited is a valued affiliate of VRFish.


In 2020-21 OzFish delivered: 

  • The Largest Seagrass Restoration Project in Australia
  • The Largest Community Driven Shellfish Restoration in Australia and OzFish are driving the Largest Coastal Wetland Restoration Project in Australia
  • All up OzFish have 89 projects underway; Seagrass Planted, Shellfish Reefs Restored, Riparian Zones Replanted, Rivers Resnagged, Fish Rescued, Habitats Mapped, Rivers Monitored, Communities Engaged And Waterways Cleaned
  • Grew from 1672 to 2577 members
  • From 41 to 49 Chapters established
  • Supported projects with 28,644 hours of volunteer work by OzFish members and volunteers delivering on our promise of better habitat better fishing


Find your local Victorian OzFish Chapter here.

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