Healthy fisheries need healthy habitat. The Victorian Government assisted recreational fishers involvement in riparian habitat improvement projects across Victoria through the Angler Riparian Partnerships Program, a commitment in Victoria's Water Plan, Water for Victoria. The government provided $1 million over four years (2016/17 to 2019/20) for the program.

The funding was used for partnerships between the nine regional catchment management authorities (CMAs) and recreational angling groups to deliver riparian improvement works in areas of local priority for anglers. Works typically included stock management fencing, revegetation, weed management and rubbish removal.

Anglers planting trees in Goulburn

Photo above, members of the Victorian Fly Fishers Association planting trees on the Goulburn River. Photo courtesy Goulburn Broken CMA.

This gave local angling groups the ability to work directly with CMAs on riparian areas that were important to them and improve fishing in their favourite fishing streams.

Over the life of the program, over 1,000 volunteers from 156 angling clubs and community groups participated in 35 events and helped to plant over 41,500 native trees and shrubs and control 174 hectares of weeds in 39 separate projects. These efforts improved 70 kilometres of riparian land along 30 waterways across Victoria, including the Merri River, Wimmera River, Kings Billabong, Lake Boga, Goulburn River, Buckland River, Nariel Creek, Mitchell River, Macalister River and Curdies River. These actions will benefit fish species including Murray cod, trout, golden perch, Macquarie perch, estuary perch, river blackfish and bream.

Watch these two short videos of Angler Riparian Partnerships Program projects - on the Steavenson River near Marysville and the Barwon River downstream of Geelong, where local angling clubs worked with the Goulburn Broken CMA and Corangamite CMA respectively to plant trees, shrubs and grasses along the rivers.

While the Angler Riparian Partnerships Program has now ended, there are many other opportunities for recreational fishers to get involved in local waterway projects that benefit waterways and fish. Please contact your local CMA.

Achievements in 2019/20 and program wrap-up

During the fourth and final year of the program, 43 angling clubs and community groups partnered with CMAs to deliver works along 15 Victorian waterways, including the Curdies River, Middle Creek, Hughes Creek, Box-Pyramid Creek, Snowy River and Kings Billabong.

Nearly 300 people volunteered and planted nearly 18,000 native trees and shrubs and controlled 52 hectares of weeds. These works improved 25 kilometres of waterway and will support fish species including Murray cod, estuary perch, trout, golden perch, Macquarie perch and bream.

Members of the Twin Rivers Community Group at a planting site on the Lower Tambo River. Photo courtesy of East Gippsland CMA.

Members of the Twin Rivers Community Group at a planting site on the Lower Tambo River. Photo courtesy of East Gippsland CMA.

For further details of achievements in the fourth year of the program and total statewide achievements across all four years of the program (2016/17 to 2019/20), refer to the 2019/20 achievements report below:

Page last updated: 19/10/20