Thousands of native fingerlings have been released into Parkes' Lake Endeavour as part of an important effort to enhance the biodiversity of the dam.
The release, which took place in superlative conditions on Monday afternoon, is part of a native fish stocking initiative by the NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) Fisheries.
Under the Recreational Fishing (freshwater) Trust, Parkes Shire Council released two iconic species - Murray Cod and Golden Perch - to increase the health and biodiversity of the dam, as well as enhance recreational freshwater fishing opportunities for locals and visitors.
The program also assists in the development of regional aquaculture industries, as well as increases awareness and understanding of responsible stocking.
Parkes Shire Council's environmental and sustainability coordinator, Michael Chambers, said restocking is vital for the health of the local aquatic
"While Murray Cod were once widespread throughout the Murray Darling system, they unfortunately are now listed as a threatened species - so these restocking efforts are extremely important for restoring and increasing the local populations," he said.
"With the last fish release at Lake Endeavour taking place in 2020, council have been working with DPI for the past two years to secure fish for this recent release.
"It will take a further two years before these fish are a catchable size," said Mr Chambers.
Parkes Shire Mayor, Cr Ken Keith echoed his sentiments, and said how important this restocking was for the shire.
"As an integral part of our shire's waterways, it's important that we foster a sustainable and productive environment at Lake Endeavour, as well as ensure the precinct is there for residents and visitors to participate in passive recreation for years to come," he said.
Freshwater fisher men and women regard the Murray Cod as the holy grail catch, while the golden perch is better known to many as Yellowbelly, or football - thanks to its substantial girth and attitude when on the line.
Obviously, as previously mentioned, native fish are far more important than just providing a past time for keen fishers - fish like the Murray Cod, which is considered a 'keystone species' have a huge influence on the entire aquatic community of the river and lake system they are in, according to the Federal Department of Agriculture, Water and Environment (AWE).
The fact that it is such an iconic species, which has bounced back after being on the brink of extinction a few decades, also provides somewhat of a natural PR opportunity amongst members of the public who might be unaware of the huge importance freshwater fish have in our ecosystem.
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Ensuring the population level of native fish like the Yellowbelly and Murray Cod also helps to ensure our ecosystem and recreational fishing industry is healthy and sustainable for the next generation - and the idyllic setting of Lake Endeavour is the perfect backdrop to educate shire residents about these wonderful fish.
Are you a keen fisher like the Parkes Champion Post staff are?
Access permits for Lake Endeavour Dam are available from the council for passive recreational activities such as bushwalking, bird watching, fishing, and picnicking.
Anglers wishing to fish at Lake Endeavour must also apply for a recreational fishing licence through the Service NSW website and pay the associated fee.
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