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Partnering for river protection

Central West Local Land Services has joined forces with local environmental organisations to finalise a number of projects designed to protect and enhance the Macquarie River habitat.

Over the last 12 months, the combined efforts of organisations such as Local Land Services, NSW Fisheries, Dubbo Regional Council and the Inland Waterways and Rejuvenation Alliance (IWRA) and Dubbo Macquarie River Bushcare has resulted in significant headway in the management of invasive species such as willow trees and as a result, an improvement in aquatic habitat for native fish species.

IWRA President Matt Hansen said that willows are a listed weed of national significance and a major threat to the habitat values of the Macquarie River.

“Controlling willows is paramount to habitat improvement for important native fish species, including Yellow Belly and Macquarie Perch. “ Mr Hansen said

Works undertaken included the engagement of professional bush regenerators to treat willows on 21 Travelling Stock Reserves between Warren and Wellington.

A working bee was also organised by IWRA with local participants from employment agency Sureway rolling up their sleeves to assist with the process.

Central West Local Land Services, Senior Land Services Officer, Vivien Howard said that willow treatment is one step in improving the Macquarie River habitat.

“Native tube stock has now been planted in treated areas to provide future habitat for native animals and aid bank stabilisation.” Vivien said

In addition to these works, Dubbo Regional Council has completed construction of the Dubbo Fishway in conjunction with reconstruction of the South Dubbo Weir.

Fishways are structures built to allow fish to move up and downstream across in-stream structures such as weirs that normally impede movement.

Prior to the construction of the Dubbo Fishway, fish could only move over the weir two per cent of the time, namely when river flows were high.

Incorporating the Fishway into the reconstruction of the South Dubbo Weir increases the ability of fish to move across this particular location to more than 95 per cent of the time.

The combination of these complementary projects on the Macquarie River equates to a significant improvement in local habitat.

To find out more about habitat enhancement in the Central West, call 1300 795 299 or visit


Media contact: Fiona Townsend, Central West Local Land Services, Phone 0428 284 252.