Re-snagging the Darling

Bourke’s Ain’t Caught Nuffin’ Fishing Club Re-snag the Darling River

Taking Action – LLCI023-014

The Issue

Native Fish populations in the Darling River are estimated to be at around 10% of pre European settlement levels. Bourke’s Ain’t Caught Nuffin’ Fishing Club since its inception in 2013 has worked to increase the numbers of native fish in the Darling River. They have undertaken projects including; fingerlings releases and Carp Musters. The fishing club acknowledged that a major issue for native fish population was the removal of snags (large woody debris) from the Darling during the historic river boat trade period and felt this was an issue that needed to be rectified if they were to have a chance at increasing native fish numbers.

The Solution

Bourke’s Fishing Club with the support of Western Local Land Services and Western Landcare applied for a grant through the Recreational Fishing Trust. They were successful in receiving just over $20,000 in funding to support a re-snagging the Darling project. Support was sought from local council who helped the club determine the most appropriate area of the Darling to re-snag and DPI Fisheries came on board as a partner to assist with all permits, mapping and advice on best placement of the snags.

The Impact

The fishing club were successful in re-introducing 16 wooded habitats to the stretch of the Darling River along the fishing reserve below the Bourke weir. The snags introduced provide increase habitat for native fish populations, an educational area for both locals and tourists on the importance of restoring fish habitats and improving the health of inland waterways. The project compliments other works undertaken by the fishing club such as their fingerlings releases and carp musters and the club hopes with the projected carp herpes virus release they will be able to assist in increasing native fish populations. The sight is also a great source of pride for the group and recognises their commitment to sustainable recreational fishing.

Key facts

  • The Darling River was almost completely denuded of snags during the historic river boat trade period.
  • 16 wood habitats were re-introduced to the Darling and the fishing club hopes to continue this work.