The vital waterway faced significant challengers following a series of weather-related events and it’s now on a path to recovery, breathing new life for native fish under the surface and into the community.
Tenterfield Creek was one of the many rivers across Australia which bore the brunt of the 2019/20 bushfires. The devastation was made worse when the area was then flooded, which led to Tenterfield’s water supply being shut off for nine months. A hailstorm caused further damage before more bushfires hit the area in 2021/22.
The OzFish Northern Tablelands Chapter volunteers have undertaken an ambitious mission to restore the creek, ensuring its ecological health and the sustained well-being of the local fish population.
OzFish members received support from the Habitat Action Grants by the NSW Department of Primary Industries’ Recreational Fishing Trusts and the local Gunimma Native Nursery was also called upon and immediately begun restoration work in the area.
Earthmovers have now started repairing the riverbank to fix an erosion problem which is putting a massive sediment load in the waterway.
Thousands of native grasses are being planted to filter the water and provide insect fall for native fish and three tonnes of rocky habitat is being installed in deeper spots in the creek to provide shelter and spawning areas for the native fish.
The creek is home to a variety of fish including golden perch, Murray cod and the threatened purple spotted gudgeon .
Harry Davey, OzFish Project Officer – Northern Basin and also a local resident, said the community is getting revitalised as well as the creek.
Mr Davey said the current restoration work is a special one as it is being done to honour the memory of local landowner Merv McCasker, who was integral to helping the project get up and running. Sadly, he passed away earlier this year.
“It’s important for us as community members to get it completed in Merv’s memory. He would always engage the Traditional Owners and employed young workers from BackTrack Youth Works at Tenterfield and the Moombahlene Local Aboriginal Land Council for all the work we’ve done out on the site.
“That’s just the kind of guy he was, He’s the kind of landowner we wish we had for every project. He would donate machinery and wouldn’t take money for the fencing, insisting on paying for it himself.”
The project is part of many undertaken by OzFish to improve the habitats of local fish species and it will ensure the health of Tenterfield Creek will be upgraded and revitalised for generations to come.
This is a joint project by OzFish and the NSW Recreational Fishing Trusts’ Habitat Action Grants, with support from BCF - Boating, Camping, Fishing.
If you would like to know more about the project or get involved become a member of OzFish at www.ozfish.org.au or phone 1800 431 308.
OzFish Unlimited is a national environmental conservation charity established to improve the health of our rivers, lakes and estuaries. It is a member-based organisation dedicated to make our fishing grounds healthy, vibrant and more productive. Their active work includes; habitat restoration such as resnagging, riverbank planting, clean-ups, fishways, shellfish reefs and educational and community capacity building programs.
If you would like further information about the project or to interview Harry Davey, please contact OzFish Unlimited Communications Manager Paul Suttor
0421 491 229 | email@example.com