Kempsey trials new fisheries project

In recent times, dwindling fish numbers has become an issue in many river systems along the eastern seaboard. This has resulted in Kempsey Shire Council being selected by the NSW Department of Primary Industries to be part of a trial for its Stream Health Road Crossings and Fish Passage Project.

The program aims to identify and prioritise waterway crossings important to fish passage in the Northern Rivers Catchment Management area, to document remedial options and to assist Local Government with onground works at key demonstration sites.

Willi Willi Road causeway at McCoys Creek was identified as an appropriate demonstration site for this program because its high invert restricted water flows impeding the passage of native fish through the river system.

As a result, Kempsey Shire Council removed the existing causeway late last year and replaced it with a new timber bridge. This has improved the flow of water and the free passage of fish along the creek.

Marcus Riches, Senior Conservation Manager with the Department of Primary Industries, commended Kempsey Shire Council on the care and attention to detail displayed during the planning and removal of the old causeway. In particular, Marcus Riches acknowledged the work of Alex Pelser, Engineering Project Officer; Lloyd Foran, Excavator Operator: Warren Howe, Open Space and Recreation Team Leader; and Gary Meehan and David Hayden from the Outdoor Works Team.

The overall success of the project will become more obvious with the passage of time, as the improved health of the aquatic ecosystem creates the right environment for fish populations to flourish.

For further information contact Michael Rootes, Manager Works, on (02) 6566 3200.