COFFS Coasters wondering just what happens to money raised through NSW recreational fishing fees now have the answer.
One thing it’s used for is grants under the NSW Government’s Habitat Action Grant program, with more than half a million dollars available for individuals or groups interested in rehabilitating fish habitat throughout the state.
The Department of Primary Industries’ fisheries conservation manager, Charlotte Jenkins, said the grants are open to fishing clubs, Landcare and Rivercare groups, other community groups, individuals and local councils wanting to improve fish habitat in their local area.
“Applications are now open for grants of up to $40,000 as part of the NSW Government’s Habitat Action Grant program,” Ms Jenkins said.
“If your local creek, river or estuary isn’t as productive as it used to be, the cause could be poor fish habitat.”
Ms Jenkins said good habitat was vital for native fish because it allowed them to find food, take shelter, hide from predators, grow and – most importantly – to breed.
“It is essential that we not only look after fish habitat but also rehabilitate degraded fish habitat,” she said.
“Previous projects have included removing invasive vegetation and re-establishing native vegetation on our river banks, removing barriers to fish movement, re-snagging waterways, opening floodgates and fencing riverbanks to control the access of livestock.
“These community projects have provided fantastic results for our native fish and are great examples that the money collected from the recreational fishing fee is helping to support recreational fishing and make more fish by natural means.”
Applications close on Wednesday, September 28, at 5pm.
For more information, go to www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/fisheries/habitat/rehabilitating/ahr-grants-program or phone (02) 6626 1107.