Tweed Shire Council has been successful with a $180,000 funding application to NSW DPI Fisheries’ Recreational Fishing Trust’s Flagship Fish Habitat Rehabilitation Grant program to proactively address erosion impacts over 11 km of the Tweed River estuary between Murwillumbah and Stotts Island, Member for Tweed Geoff Provest announced today.

“The grant program provides an opportunity for fishers, organisations and community members to be directly involved in improving conditions for fish and thereby improving fishing opportunities,” Mr Provest said.

“The successful project, developed by the Tweed Shire Council, is aimed at proactively addressing erosion issues to enhance fish habitat, water quality and fish passage opportunities in the Tweed catchment.

“Through mapping of erosion “hotspots” in this reach of the Tweed River estuary, and planning for more fish friendly methods of erosion control, the project provides an opportunity for Tweed Shire Council to be proactive in regards to fish habitat management by addressing problem erosion sites, and incorporating fish habitat features in their treatment designs.

“By planning ahead for these occurrences, and employing the knowledge of our local fishers and ecologists, sites where it is possible to incorporate beneficial habitat features can be identified, along with the most appropriate habitat features for each site.

“This methodology reduces the impact of reactive erosion management on our native fish by determining where fish friendly structures can be located based on riverine features and recreational fishers’ knowledge of the system.

“Both the environment and our community will enjoy long-term benefits as a result of this project – it provides a holistic and innovative approach to erosion management actions, with the aim to reduce the impact of reactive erosion management on our native fish.”

It is hoped the plan and structure designs will also be able to be used by other agencies and Councils to proactively plan and deliver estuary management projects in other areas of the NSW coast.

The Flagship Fish Habitat Rehabilitation Grant program is funded by the Recreational Fishing Saltwater Trust, and is another great example of recreational fishing licence fees at work.

Expressions of interest for Round 3 of the Flagship Fish Habitat Action Grants is now open until 28 Feb 2020.