Objective 3- Maintain and Improve Fish Habitat
Strategy 10: Advocate for positive recreational fishing outcomes
The Fisheries Act 1995 empowers Fisheries Victoria to manage the State's fisheries resources. A range of other Commonwealth and State agencies, legislation and policies also affect fisheries management in the State. The responsibility for implementing programs to improve water quality and water flow in the Goulburn-Broken region rests primarily with the Department of Sustainability and Environment, EPA Victoria, Goulburn-Murray Water and the Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority. Fisheries Victoria supports the intent of these and other responsible agencies and will continue to advocate for achieving and enhancing fishery management outcomes that are consistent with relevant State and Commonwealth legislation and policies.
Past projects have identified the habitat and ecological conditions required to sustain production including the importance of riparian vegetation and key recreational species. Collating information on the factors that affect production of key species will be undertaken through this fishery management plan and will assist in the prioritisation of further research or monitoring programs by the Goulburn-Broken Fishery Reference Group and other government and non-government agencies. This information may also assist the Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority to target specific areas for habitat protection and rehabilitation in waterways identified in the Goulburn Broken Regional River Health Strategy as having a high priority for restoration.
The following factors are particularly important to positive recreational fishing outcomes in the Goulburn-Broken region and are a focus for advocacy:
- The effects of carp on aquatic habitats and recreational fishing species
- Obstructions to fish movements including dams and weirs
- The need for appropriate stream flows and flow management
- Consultation with stakeholders on matters related to habitat and other areas including changes to water management regimes.
Advocate to other agencies, peak bodies and other stakeholders on behalf of the habitat and environmental requirements of key recreational fishing species in the Goulburn-Broken region
Stream flow and flow management
Appropriate stream flows and flow management are necessary to maintain the health of waterways and associated ecosystems. This includes providing habitats and conditions for fish that do not inhibit their biological processes including reproduction. A key area of advocacy for Fisheries Victoria is the maintenance and management of stream flows and flow management that support recreational fishing species and the ecosystems on which they depend.
Stream flow management is a key aspect of bulk entitlements issued under the Water Act 1989. A bulk entitlement is a right to an amount of water that can be taken or stored under specific conditions by various entities. Bulk entitlements may specify conditions and obligations including: rules about when and how much water can be taken; the security of the entitlement; a policy for restricting the entitlement when the resource is limited; and obligations to release water for environmental uses or primary entitlement holders, to contribute to the payment of operation and maintenance costs and for metering, accounting and reporting (Department of Sustainability and Environment 2009a).
In the Goulburn-Broken system, bulk entitlements over the Broken River are held by Goulburn-Murray Water and the North East Region Water Authority and over the Goulburn River by AGL Hydro, Goulburn-Murray Water, Goulburn Valley Region Water Corporation and the Minister for the Environment (i.e. Environmental Water Reserve for the Goulburn system and the Living Murray environmental entitlement)(Department of Sustainability and Environment 2010).
Advocate for conditions and obligations in bulk entitlements that support positive recreational fishing outcomes in the Goulburn-Broken region
Strategy 11: Work together to rehabilitate waterways
Fisheries Victoria is committed to actively engaging with recreational fishers and other stakeholders when making decisions about the use and conservation of Victoria's fisheries.
Under this fishery management plan the Goulburn-Broken Fishery Reference Group will be established to: advise Fisheries Victoria on priority projects and the coordination of activities/ projects that support management plan objectives; annually document progress against the key performance indicators in the Goulburn-Broken Fishery Management Plan; and review the Goulburn-Broken Fishery Management Plan in five years.
Nominations to the Goulburn-Broken Fishery Reference Group will be sought from, recreational fishing groups, water corporations, catchment management agencies, conservation interests, local government, local business, Traditional Owners and relevant government agencies. Other groups or persons may be engaged as required.
The Goulburn-Broken Fishery Reference Group to advise Fisheries Victoria with respect to the coordination of activities and priority projects, facilitate partnerships, review the outcomes of research and make recommendations on future research directions