Tuross River habitat restoration project

A BAND of 27 volunteers planted 570 native plants at Snake Flat Reserve off Bumbo Road near Bodalla on Saturday.

The project is a collaboration between Tuross Fishing Club and Eurobodalla Shire Council, partly funded by the State Recreational Fishing Trust.

Snake Flat on the Tuross River s a popular recreational area that is enjoyed year round by locals and tourists for many activities including fishing, swimming, boating and picnics.

Eurobodalla Shire Council’s environmental project officer, Mitchell Jarvis said that because of constant, heavy use of the waterway, the river’s banks had eroded at Snake Flat.

“This has been caused by wash from speed boats, unrestricted vehicle access and a loss of vegetation,” he said.

The Snake Flat restoration works are a joint venture between Tuross Fishing Club and Eurobodalla Shire Council, partly funded by a NSW Government Recreational Fishing Trust’s Habitat Action Grant of $24,260.

“In total, $54,000 will be spent on significant erosion control, weed control, vehicle consolidation and revegetation of native species,” Mitchell said.

Prior to the mass replanting on Saturday, Eurobodalla Shire Council had carried out erosion control on the banks of the Tuross River, road works and the installation of protective bollards to protect the newly planted vegetation.

“The erosion control works on the site between the boat ramp and Snake Flat has been completed with root balls and hardwood tree trunks having been installed along the river bank to prevent erosion which will assist sustainable use of the river and prevent further river bank degradation,” Mitchell said.

State member for Bega, Andrew Constance said the Recreational Fishing Trust grant would help to greatly improve the Tuross River and enhance fish habitat.

“This is a great local project which will make a big difference to the Tuross River and provide better access for fish, improve fish habitat and ultimately produce more fish,” Mr Constance said.

“This important project will result in a healthier, more sustainable river that is appreciated and enjoyed by all.”

Twenty seven volunteers from many community groups including the Tuross Fishing Club, Rural Fire Service, bowlers, golfers, men’s shed members, LandCare and community gardens under the guidance of Eurobodalla Shire Council Environmental project officers Emma Patyus and Mitchell Jarvis gathered at the Snake Flat Reserve and managed to plant 570 native plants in just over three hours.

Secretary of Tuross Head Fishing Club, Max Church said the club had approached the council late last year when they became aware that grants were available from the Recreational Fishing Trust.

“Council were very receptive to the idea and after on-site inspections by the Department of Primary Industries and through various consultations and further funding applications, Eurobodalla Shire Council was able to instigate the project.

“Tuross Fishing Club is extremely appreciative of Council’s contribution to the habitat restoration,” he said.

After the volunteers had finished planting the native plants they were treated to lunch on site by the Tuross Fishing Club.

Most of the revegetation works have now been completed with follow up works including planting of another 150-200 plants and continued weed control treatments expected to be completed by October.

Mr Constance said “the project is one of 30 habitat rehabilitation projects which have received $570,000 funding from the NSW Government’s Habitat Action Grants.”

The 30 projects will improve wetland habitat, control invasive riverbank weeds, implement bank erosion control, revegetate riparian zones, improve fencing for better stock management, install snags or in stream woody habitat and enhance access for fish.

“Funding for this grant was provided through the Recreational Fishing Trusts, where all money raised by the NSW Recreational Fishing Fee are placed into the Recreational Fishing Trusts and spent on improving recreational fishing in NSW,” Mr Constance said.

“This is another great example of how anglers’ money is being invested back into recreational fishing, supporting the improvement of recreational fish populations.”

A full list of successful projects can be found at www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/hag

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