OZFish North Queensland works to improve the health of local waterways

TropWATER Member and OzFish Unlimited project manager for north and far north QLD, Dr Geoff Collins has been working with the Cairns OzFish Chapter, as well as local government and other community groups to improve the health of local waterways. This includes delivering community education and citizen science projects. OzFish recently ran two community events that were well attended by the local communities and resulted in the successful removal of invasive fish species from urban waterways. Both events were well supported by local councils (Cassowary Coast Council and Townsville City Council).

OzFish Unlimited is an Australian charity dedicated to supporting recreational fishers make local fishing grounds healthy, vibrant and more productive. Their active work includes habitat restoration such as resnagging, riverbank planting, fishways, shellfish reef restoration, giant kelp restoration and other projects such as monitoring river health and habitat mapping – anything that can improve, revitalise and protect fish habitat across Australia.

Locally in north Queensland things are progressing – Dr Collins has recently been working with community group NQ Dry Tropics to monitor the movement of fish through vertical slot fishways in the lower Burdekin. Fish monitoring was undertaken in February and captured the period of high flow that occurred immediately after high rainfall. Dr Collins will soon be calling on local fishers to help with further fish surveys in tropical urban systems, in an effort to better understand how fish use modified urban waterways and to identify how they can be better managed to meet the requirements of urban runoff while still providing valuable fish habitat.

OzFish is on the lookout for new members locally to support their project work. To find out more go to: www.ozfish.org.au or get in touch with Dr Collins directly on geoffcollins@ozfish.org.au or 0427 992 567.

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