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Strong alliances = strong river systems

Building strategic partnerships with anglers and fishing groups has been instrumental in boosting awareness of environmental flows in the Glenelg River and environmental conditions in other waterways.

In recent years, Glenelg Hopkins CMA water resource officers have forged strong networks with influential anglers and angler groups. Anglers and water managers collaborate during fishing competitions and fish surveys, electrofishing and fyke-netting demonstrations, and fish habitat restoration projects.

In 2019 Glenelg Hopkins CMA, for the first time, supported the Vic Bream Classic catch and release series through sponsorship of tournaments on the Glenelg and Hopkins rivers.

Glenelg Hopkins CMA CEO Adam Bester said that supporting this type of event improves access to, and relationships with, leading anglers from Victoria and beyond to boost awareness about environmental management of rivers and the status of native fish species.

“We see our work with recreational anglers as a real win-win situation for both parties.”

“By establishing strong alliances, not only can we encourage advocacy from this critical stakeholder group, but also undertake a joint approach to building stronger and more resilient river systems.”

“Anglers understand that our work to restore flows and improve fish habitat brings greater fishing opportunities. And we know that we can learn a lot from anglers who observe changes in river conditions and fish movement firsthand.”

“Tapping into this knowledge will help to inform and prioritise management actions to support self sustaining fish populations,” he said.

Western Victorian angler Shane Lowery commented during the event in February, “Since we’ve had environmental flows coming down the river, we’ve had incredible movements of fish that hadn’t happened for years. We’re seeing fish push hundreds of kilometres up the river in a river that used to be, in the higher reaches, very disconnected and a series of small pools. Now that we’re getting environmental water, we’re seeing improvements in the fishing all the time. I’ve spoken to people that tell me this is the most consistent they’ve seen the river fish in 30, 40 years.”

A photo of a man driving a boat on the river during the Vic Bream Classic

Enjoying the Vic Bream Classic, by Glenelg Hopkins CMA