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Monday, 22 August 2016

Fish numbers and recreational fishing opportunities to increase with commitment to Target One Million

22 Aug 2016

North East CMA is excited by the opportunities presented by the Victorian Government's commitment to deliver its $46 million Target One Million plan for recreational fishing, which aims to grow participation to one million anglers by 2020.

Minister for Agriculture, Jaala Pulford said "The Andrews Labor Government is investing in recreational fishing, to encourage Victorians to spend more quality time outdoors enjoying this great pastime."

"With more people fishing more often, we will be well on our way to reach one million anglers by 2020." Said Minister Pulford.

North East CMA has a number of projects focusing on improving fish populations and recreational fishing opportunities that align with Target One Million.

Current projects include the development of fish passages, improving fish habitat and a rehabilitation program in partnership with Fisheries Victoria and the Department of Land, Water and Planning.

Opportunities to modify barriers to incorporate fish passages on the Ovens River, Tea Garden Creek and Snowy Creek will reopen waterways for fish spawning and improved access to habitat in North East Victoria.

North East CMA's Natalie Dando, Manager Statutory Planning, said "design, and future implementation, of the fish passages in the region will open more habitat up to fish, increasing viability of populations, and in return increase opportunities for anglers.".

To improve fish numbers, North East CMA are actively increasing instream habitat in strategic locations.

In stream woody habitat plays a vital role in a range of ecological functions, including habitat, spawning sites, refuge from predators and connecting home ranges for migrating species. While at the same time, North East CMA is involved in a rehabilitation programs to increase numbers of Macquarie Perch and the nationally endangered Trout Cod.

North East CMA is currently developing a Fish for the Future project which aim to work specifically with anglers and local communities to develop and identify projects which will improve fish populations.

Ms Dando said the Fish for the Future project presented many great opportunities, "By enhancing and improving riparian zones, ensuring ecosystem services for healthy fish populations are provided for, maintaining and enhancing public access for angles and introducing in-stream habitat, we are looking forward to working with people to ensure future generations have healthy waterways for fabulous fishing."

**See attached media release and background document for additional information**

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