Maribyrnong habitat project creating native fish homes

26 November 2021

The Victorian Government is reviving the native fish population in the Maribyrnong River, installing 32 new fish habitats from Avondale Heights to the Flemington Racecourse.

View original release here.

Minister for Fishing and Boating Melissa Horne said the habitats would create an exciting new recreational fishery for suburban anglers and improve river health while complementing the significant fish stockings in the river.

Funded by recreational fishing licence fees, the Government’s $35 million Go Fishing Victoria Plan and Melbourne Water, the structures are part of a broader commitment to boost native fish numbers, improve fish habitat and recreational fishing access along the river.

Structures made from repurposed felled timber and concrete were built with the help of prisoners at Hopkins Correctional Centre, in addition to hundreds of tonnes of rock donated by the Cherry Creek Youth Justice Centre Project for use on the habitats.

The habitats will be home to some of the 200,000 estuary perch already stocked in the Maribyrnong River since 2018. A further 100,000 estuary perch will be stocked this summer, completing a commitment to place 300,000 of the popular sports fish into the waterway.

The Victorian Fisheries Authority is managing the project in collaboration with Melbourne Water, Parks Victoria, the Department of Justice and Community Safety, Moonee Valley City Council, City of Melbourne, VicForests, VRFish, Melbourne Anglers Association, and John Holland.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Fishing and Boating Melissa Horne

"The work done along the Maribyrnong River shows how stocking fish, improving fish habitat, and access to water can enhance our suburban waterways and create brilliant opportunities for families to spend time together by the water."

"This project is a great example of the results we can achieve with collaboration between fishers, communities, government and a range of agencies." 

Quote attributable to Minister for Water Lisa Neville

"This project is enhancing the health of the much-loved Maribyrnong River along an extensive stretch between Avondale Heights and Flemington Racecourse. This is a great win not just for the river's inhabitants, but also the local community."  

Quote attributable to Minister for Corrections Natalie Hutchins

"Programs like the creation of fish habitats are fantastic in helping keep prisoners engaged and building a sense of purpose, which in turn assists in reducing the risk of them reoffending once they leave prison."

Quote attributable to Member for Niddrie Ben Carroll

“This is an exciting project that will draw keen fishers from all over Melbourne to the Maribyrnong River, supporting local businesses.”

Quote attributable to Member for Essendon Danny Pearson

"The Maribyrnong River is much-loved by local communities from Flemington, Ascot Vale, Essendon and Avondale Heights. These fish habitats will only enhance the experience of this popular waterway for fishers and locals alike."