Native fish rescue

Native fish rescue

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Fish rescued from Western Waranga Channel.

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FISH RESCUE: Victorian Fisheries Authority staffer Rhys Neville prepares a cod for release.

FISH RESCUE: Victorian Fisheries Authority staffer Rhys Neville prepares a cod for release.

A joint effort between Goulburn-Murray Water, Victorian Fisheries Authority and local stakeholders has seen about 50 native fish saved from an irrigation channel undergoing routine winter maintenance.

Earlier this month, GMW was alerted to a congregation of fish at Fernihurst, on the Western Waranga Channel, where dewatering was taking place.

"The fish were at risk with reduced water, so we co-ordinated an effort with Fisheries and relocated about 20 Murray Cod, ranging from 30-80 centimetres and 30 Golden Perch, between 20-50cm, to the Loddon River," G-MW Distribution customer service manager Paul Gilchrist said.

Mr Gilchrist said G-MW and VFA had worked with the Boort Angling Club and local landholders and CFA to salvage the fish.

"It's an opportunity for local community stakeholders, such as the local farmers and the Angling Club, to see G-MW does its best to complete core business activities in channel maintenance, but also care for the environment with the support and assistance of locals," he said.

"It's important these stakeholders understand we want to work with the environment wherever possible, and be a positive partner to the community, ensuring our water delivery work, including maintenance programs on our irrigation channels, provide positive outcomes for all.

"Wherever possible, G-MW works with the environment so industry and community are not compromised."

CHANNEL MAINTENANCE: G-MW and VFA staff at the emptied syphon on the Western Waranga Channel.

CHANNEL MAINTENANCE: G-MW and VFA staff at the emptied syphon on the Western Waranga Channel.

Victorian Fisheries Authority chief executive Travis Dowling said it was a great outcome.

"Getting more cod and yellas into our rivers is fantastic for Victorian recreational fishers everywhere," Mr Dowling said.

"Hats off to Boort Angling Club and all the volunteers who turned up to get the job done."

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