Inspiring Videos: Reaching Beyond Demonstration Reaches

Inspiring Videos: Reaching Beyond Demonstration Reaches

Demonstration reaches were a key theme of the former Native Fish Strategy, showing by example how river and floodplain rehabilitation can be achieved through the integration of multiple management actions, community involvement, and monitoring and evaluation.  The Finbox brings together what we have learnt from using the Demonstration Reach approach, and we are now delighted that six new videos capturing the achievements of all those involved in the NFS Demonstration Reaches are now available.

“The amazing footage provides viewers with a unique bird’s eye view of the Murray-Darling Basin, showing how our waterways interact with the broader landscape.  The experiences and achievements of different communities in restoring fish habitat are captured on video on waterways across the Murray-Darling, from the Ovens River in Victoria through to the Condamine River in Queensland, showing that no system is immune and all communities can play a vital role in bringing back native fish.  The videos will hopefully inspire other local communities to get involved in river restoration projects and take ownership of their own local patch for the benefit of fish and future generations.” Tony Townsend, Namoi Demonstration Reach.

Many thanks to everyone involved in this terrific project, and we hope you use the videos and the Finbox to extend this approach to other reaches.    Demonstration reaches are a key theme of the Native Fish Strategy, and reveal how restoration of our native fish communities and the rehabilitation of the health of our waterways can be achieved through the integration of multiple management actions, strong community involvement, and monitoring and evaluation.

The Katfish Demonstration Reach Project is located on the Katarapko/Eckert Creek anabranch system between Berri and Loxton along the River Murray in South Australia. The site is a South Australian River Murray priority floodplain and covers a 9,000 Ha area that traverses over 38 km of River Murray frontage.  The project is aiming for a healthier and more productive aquatic and floodplain ecosystem that everyone can enjoy. The lack of environmental flows to the area has been identified as a threat of significant importance across the site. A number of actions have been proposed to curb the rapid and widespread ecological decline currently being experienced throughout the Katfish Reach floodplain, including improved flow management and passage for fish.

For more on the Katfish Demonstration Reach, click here.

The Namoi Demonstration Reach was established in 2007 under the multi-million dollar Namoi Aquatic Habitat Initiative, which recognised that native fish populations and river health had significantly declined in the Namoi catchment and there was a need to do something about it. The demonstration reach was set up along a 150km stretch of the Namoi River between the towns of Gunnedah and Narrabri. Acknowledging that numerous factors had contributed to the river’s deterioration, the program focussed on building strong partnerships with community and key stakeholders and implementing a range of aquatic rehabilitation activities, such as native revegetation, riverbank fencing, erosion control, resnagging and fish passage works across the catchment.

For more on the Naomi Demonstration Reach, click here.

The Ovens River rises in the Victorian Alps in North East Victoria, targeting the stretch of river directly upstream of Wangaratta. Initiated in 2007, this collaborative project involves both state (North-east Catchment Management Authority (NECMA), Department of Sustainability and Environment, the Arthur Rylah Institute) and federal agencies (Murray-Darling Basin Authority), as well as local community groups and landholders. A range of management interventions including woody weed removal, stock exclusion, increase snag loading and riparian revegetation have been implemented in the reach, significantly improving the high environmental values of the system, including several endangered native fish species such as Murray Cod, Trout Cod and Macquarie Perch..

For more on the Ovens Demonstration Reach, click here.

The Upper Murrumbidgee Demonstration Reach (UMDR) spans 100 km over two jurisdictions between Bredbo (NSW) and Casuarina Sands (ACT). The reach is a collaborative partnership between the ACT Government, NSW Government and local communities who are working together to address the multiple threats to native fish. Historic clearing of riparian vegetation, invasion by pest plant and fish species, erosion and sedimentation, smothering of in-stream habitat, barriers to fish passage and significant water diversions at Tantangara Dam have drastically changed the health of the river. Despite these impacts, the Upper Murrumbidgee River is valued as a significant riverine ecosystem containing the critical habitats for several nationally listed threatened species, including Trout Cod, Murray Cod and Macquarie Perch.

For more on the Upper Murrumbidgee Demonstration Reach, click here.

The Hollands Creek Demonstration Reach is nestled within the Tatong Valley in North East Victoria. The project supports the Regional River Health Strategy and Murray-Darling Basin Authority Native Fish Strategy, by working with local community groups and landholders to target a range of primary assets within the Hollands system. The demonstration reach focuses on protecting and expanding suitable habitat for Macquarie Perch populations, an endangered native fish. The program has seen a range of works implemented, including fencing, revegetation, pest plant control, habitat creation, monitoring and community activities.

For more on the Hollands Creek Demonstration Reach, click here.

The Dewfish Demonstration Reach begins in central Dalby and incorporates parts of Myall Creek, Oakey Creek and the Condamine River. Since 2006, overwhelming community interest and support has seen the project extend to its current length of 110 kilometres (and still growing). The Reach has become the flagship project for the Condamine River Rescue program led by natural resource management group Condamine Alliance and funded by the Murray-Darling Basin Authority, local landholders and corporate partners. The goal of the Reach is to restore native fish populations to 60% of pre-European settlement levels. While it’s not a simple or short term task, the Reach, together-with the community’s high regard for the river, is proving that it is possible.

For more on the Dewfish Demonstration Reach, click here.

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