Community supports fish stocks and habitat for World Fish Migration Day

The Burdekin community celebrated World Fish Migration Day on Saturday by helping to replenish fish stocks and planting trees to create fish habitat.

Around 100 people of all ages from Ayr, Home Hill, Townsville and Magnetic Island came together to learn about fish migration in the Burdekin delta, and how barriers such as weed chokes, dams and weirs can prevent local favourites such as barramundi and mangrove jack from migrating between freshwater and the ocean to breed.

The NQ Dry Tropics event at Kalamia Mill was a true community effort, with Lower Burdekin Landcare, Wilmar, and children from Kalamia State School getting involved with planting 480 trees along Lilliesmere Lagoon; and Burdekin Fish Restocking Group organising a tag and release of more than 200 barra fingerlings.

Allan Griggs, Burdekin Fish Restocking Association

Once grown, the tree canopies will provide shade to cool the lagoon and maintain oxygen levels in the water – reducing the likelihood of fish kills. The roots will also provide shelter for fish.

NQ Dry Tropics Project Officer Thijs Krugers said it was important to put on events that connect the community and environmental groups to show that there are many people working together to protect and improve our local areas.

“There are a wide variety of community groups working hard to improve our environment. Lower Burdekin Landcare and the Burdekin Fish Restocking Association are a great example of two groups employing different strategies to promote the same goal of supporting fish stocks and habitat”, Mr Krugers said.

“NQ Dry Tropics supports community groups in the region through our Strengthening Communities project, funded through the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program”, he said.

The event provided an opportunity to showcase a fishway structure on the creek, funded by NQ Dry Tropics and Lower Burdekin Water, that allows fish to swim upstream past the bund that holds the water in Lilliesmere Lagoon.

Other highlights included an animal demonstration courtesy of Hands On Wildlife, and a prize draw, with prizes including a fishing trip for four with Aussie Barra Charters, subscriptions to Fish & Boat magazine, a fishing rod and tackle box.

Main photo: Scott Fry (Senior Project Officer,NQ Dry Tropics), Peter Piotto (Northern Operations Manager, Lower Burdekin Water).

Community Photo: Top left to right – Barb and Alexandria C, Ayr ;  Noah R, Alva Beach ; Savannah J, Ayr ; 

Bottom left to right – Zara S, Ayr ; Thijs Krugers (NQ Dry Tropics), Chris Scovazzi (Wilmar) Lisa Pulman (NQ Dry Tropics) Gary Bohl (Wilmar)