Adam Marshall, NSW Minister for Agriculture, Media Release, 7 May 2021
Minister for Agriculture Adam Marshall today pulled on the waders to help return 130, metre-long Murray Cod to their native waterways near Tamworth.
Mr Marshall said today was the last of hundreds of similar events during the summer season under the NSW Government’s $10 million Native Fish Drought Response and recreational stocking programs which has seen more than 6 million fish released.
“From November last year up until today, NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI), alongside volunteer groups, have successfully released and stocked an enormous 6 million fish into the state’s waterways,” Mr Marshall said.
“From Menindee to Tamworth and down to Eden, these programs ensure our native fish can flourish after some of the most challenging conditions in recent history, and that our inland fisheries are also primed to rebound strongly.
“The $10 million ‘Noah’s Ark’ program provided through the Native Fish Drought Response is the largest operation of its kind ever undertaken by NSW Government, providing native fish species a lifeline from the effects of diminishing flows along rivers as a result of the crippling drought.
“The NSW DPI Fisheries team does an outstanding job, ensuring the right conditions are in place giving the fish the best chance to thrive. Over the six-month stocking season, we have returned a kaleidoscope of species back to inland waterways, including Murray Cod, Tiger Perch and Rainbow Trout.
“Our recreational fishing program is strategically designed to reinvigorate habitats, complement existing populations and to boost fish stocks, making sure they thrive for years to come.”
Member for Tamworth Kevin Anderson said the release of the Murray Cod was an important milestone.
“These fish were rescued by NSW DPI Fisheries at the height of the drought and relocated to a private hatchery in Narrabri,” Mr Anderson said.
“Murray Cod is an iconic native species, and the release of these breeding-age fish, which would otherwise have been lost to drought, will provide a critical boost to the local population.
“It is our hope these mature Murray Cod will continue to help rebuild fish stocks in the Namoi-Peel waterways in and around Tamworth now that conditions have improved.”
NSW DPI’s 2020/21 recreational fishing program runs from November to March each year, depending on conditions.
For fishing information, including rules, bag limits and seasonal details visit the NSW DPI website or download the free FishSmart app.