IN A first for the Murrumbidgee River, volunteers from the OzFish MIA Chapter are about to install new homes for native fish.
The project will see up to eight large snags installed at key sites within the Murrumbidgee River, providing vital new homes for fish.
Historically millions of snags were removed from the Murray-Darling Basin after European settlement.
Now, volunteers are pulling together to reinstall the woody habitat and reinvigorate the local ecosystem.
President of OzFish MIA Chapter and the Leeton Bidgee Classic Fishing Competition Paul Smith, said it was both vital and rewarding work.
"The Bidgee Classic Fishing Competition volunteers have been working towards this for several years," he said.
"With funds raised we have been actively undertaking restocking programs and releasing native fish into the system.
With funds raised we have been actively undertaking restocking programs and releasing native fish into the system.- OzFish MIA president Paul Smith
"However, these snags will take our sustainable approach to another level by giving them homes to naturally do their thing.
"Every good angler knows snags are not only the best fish habitat, but also great places to fish."
OzFish project manager for the Murray-Darling Basin, Braeden Lampard agreed.
He said snags played a major role in the native fish life cycle.
Fish use snags to stop and rest from fast flows and as a place to breed and shelter.
"They also provide a great source of food," Mr Lampard said.
"By adding snags back into our waterways we're helping these native fish thrive.
"This project will be a winner for fish and fishing for the local Leeton community."
There have been many supporters to get this project off the ground, including Leeton Shire Council which has provided the logs.
OzFish MIA and the Bidgee Classic committee has teamed up with Murrumbidgee Landcare through the NSW Landcare OzFish Partnership.
It has also received further support from the Department of Primary Industry's Recreational Fishing Trust and BCF.
All of this in addition to funds raised by locals at the annual Leeton Bidgee Classic Fishing Competition.
"The community should be very proud of what they've been able to achieve together," Mr Lampard said.
Residents who would like to know more about the project or get involved can become a member of OzFish online at www.ozfish.org.au.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.