Community fights to boost fish numbers in Chinchilla waterways
Just as drought has ravaged the country side it has also affected local waterways, significantly reducing the numbers of fish in the area - so, Origin Energy and Chinchilla Fishing and Restocking Club joined forces to boost to natural fish numbers by releasing 18000 Yellowbelly fingerlings.
The club has been keen to purchase and release the fingerlings for some time, however held off until there was enough water running through the area to give them the best chance of survival.
Chinchilla Fishing and Restocking Club member Tony Henningsen said that it was great to see community support at the release, with locals donating their time to help.
"This is an important step in replenishing fish numbers in our waterways for conservation, fishing authorities and anglers," Mr Henningsen said.
"They may be small now, but when fully grown can be 75 cm long and average 1-2 kilograms in weight, so local anglers are always excited to try their luck."
Origin land access worker Ainslie Madden and her children were there on the day lending a hand to the local fishing club.
"It was great to be involved, but sad to learn that a large percentage of the fingerlings released won't survive due to predation by birds and other fish," Ms Madden said.
"We released a lot though, so hopefully many of these will grow and thrive.'
Ainslie's son Hugo said it was a lot of fun, and "it was a good day helping so many baby fish to swim out of the buckets into the waterway."
The Golden Perch (Yellowbelly) fingerlings released are an endemic species to the area and should naturally disperse throughout Chinchilla town reaches and other local waterways.
It is hoped that the release will help the species to repopulate, giving nature a hand, and providing entertainment for anglers in the years to come.