Have your say on draft native fish management strategy

By Rodney Woods

Work is under way to protect native fish in the Darling River this summer, with an early warning system and special fish refuges.

Federal Water Minister David Littleproud said a range of emergency measures identified by Professor Robert Vertessy would be in place before entering the high-risk season.

“Unless we get good rain soon we will see more fish deaths this summer,” Mr Littleproud said.

“We’re taking steps right now to make sure an emergency response plan is in place.

“The states and Murray-Darling Basin Authority are setting up early warning systems that monitor conditions in the basin.

“This will tell us where to put aerators to create fish refuges where they’re needed most.

“We will also be on the front foot if we need to relocate fish."

Three fish death events happened along a 40km section of the Darling River last summer.

Following this, the Federal Government established an independent panel led by Prof Vertessy to assess the fish deaths and to prevent further such events.

Mr Littleproud said both short and long-term solutions were needed.

“No-one wants a repeat of last summer’s events and without rain, conditions for native fish are likely to deteriorate and we need to plan for a quick response," he said.

“We also need to think long-term and we need basin communities to get involved in developing an ongoing strategy to protect native fish.

“Local communities are passionate about native fish health and it’s important they have the opportunity to help set the direction of the native fish management and recovery strategy."

Mr Littleproud said he asked for the native fish management and recovery strategy to be finalised by April 2020.

To have your say on the draft native fish management and recovery strategy, go to: