Some of the challenges and issues to be addressed through the Macquarie RiverSmart initiative.

 

RiverSmart is keen to promote eco-tourism to boost regional economies, create jobs and raise awareness of how important rivers are to inland communities.

 

Helping native fish come back by allowing passage through weirs, providing more snags, reducing carp and willows and improving water quality.

 

Reducing willow invasions, such as here in Wellington, where removal has begun to return the river to how it once was.  See below for more about the willow problem.

 

Inform the community about what's being done to help improve the health of the Macquarie river.

 

RiverSmart also aims to address water quality in stormwater and run-off.  Gross pollutant traps to reduce litter in the river and RiverSmart homes, schools, farms and business initiatives - see advice regarding these via the links below.

 

Weirs and dams, if they have fishways installed, don't stop native fish migrations and this is healthy for the river overall.

 

 

Recognising and appreciating Indigenous connections to the river is also central.

 

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Easter fishing classic at Lake Burrendong a great success

 

Dubbo's Inland Waterways Rejuvenation Association staged a fantastic catch and release fishing comp at Burrendong dam at Easter.  Matt Hansen (leader of the organising team) writes as follows about the event:
 

"Over 500 keen anglers ventured to Lake Burrendong over the Easter break to try their luck in the inaugural Lake Burrendong Classic catch and release fishing competition. Sports fisherman and women travelled from across NSW, Queensland and Victoria to compete for a share in $23,000 worth of prizes in the name of a good cause, as all proceeds generated by the event were flagged for native fish restocking projects...... Lake Burrendong was blessed with weather that could be described as nothing short of magnificent with beautiful sunshine, glass like conditions on the water, and a pleasant temperature making for excellent fishing."

 

Some of the results to make you drool: 

Biggest Catfish 58 cms

Biggest Murray cod 67 cms

Biggest Silver perch 39 cms

Biggest Golden perch 59.5 cms. 

And of the ferals, biggest red fin 42 cms and biggest carp 74 cms. 

 

Great work IWRA, and your sponsors, supporters and helpers.  RiverSmart and the Central West CMA were proud to have been able to support the event.  Macca had lots of fun too !!! (see below).

 

 

 

 

Your chance to get involved

 

Since World Environment Day in 2009 (see below), when the Macquarie RiverSmart initiative was launched, it has grown and we are now keen to hear from local organisations, businesses and individuals who want to work together to help make a difference along the river. 

 

Our 'big' event was the Macquarie Blue paddle-a-thon and river festival in November of last year (see below for more) and we now want to see that concept grow to all the population centres along the Macquarie. 

 

Contact our Macquarie RiverSmart Facilitator for more details - via this link.

 

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Stuff we're doing at present

 

Under this initiative we have funded, or are working on at present the following:

 

Macquarie Blue paddle-a-thon and river festival (November 2009) - see below

 

Producing lots of T-shirts and other things to promote our work and fund-raise - follow this link to the RiverSmart shop

 

Holding blue bucket promotional events - follow this link to find out more

 

Development of teachers resource book to help them build sustainable river management into classroom activities (being done with the Waterwatch program)

 

A feasibility study to look out how to establish an eco-cultural 'trail' from Burrendong to the Barwon, to encourage tourism along the river. 

 

  Green team works in Narromine, Dubbo and Wellington

 

  Willow and other woody weed removals in Narromine, Dubbo and Wellington

 

  Habitat mapping along the Macquarie river from Burrendong to Marebone weir to find the place we need to especaily take care of and those that need help the most (being done by I & I NSW)

 

  Mapping of Indigenous cultural heritage along the Macquarie River (being coordinated by Aboriginal Liaison Group)

 

  Development of fundraising strategy

 

  Production and airing of community service announcements

 

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Lazy River Feast - a day to remember

 

On Saturday 25th September 2010, the first ‘Lazy River Feast’

was held and close to 1,500 people came to help us Celebrate World Rivers Day.  This was a day by the river, for the river !

The day was a fundraiser to support the Macquarie RiverSmart initiative.  Local support for local actions ! 

Six fantastic local bands played from 12.30pm on the big stage and about 100 people got a chance to paddle on the river for several kilometres.  And, there was lots, lots more.  Here are a few photos of the day and we'll follow up shortly with more details.

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Macquarie Blue paddle-a-thon and river festival (November 2009)

 

Despite unseasonally hot weather (40 plus !) the event went ahead, or at least the last day of it did.  More than 100 people braved the hot, windy weather to paddle almost 16 kilometres from Butler's Falls Reserve to Sandy Beach in Dubbo where a concert by the river featuring Melinda Schneider entertained the crowd.  We hope to hold more such events in 2010, possibly in other towns along the river as well.  To find out more about the 2009 event and who helped us make it possible - click here

Macquarie Blue paddle-a-thon - stopover at Pilcher's Reserve beach.  (Photo: Libby McIntyre).

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RiverSmart starts with a bang on the Macquarie !

 

The Macquarie RiverSmart initiative was officially launched with the announcement of a $1 million dollar partnership with the Central West Catchment Management Authority on World Environment Day

(5 June 2009).

 

 

Tom Gavel, Chairman of Central West CMA presents Bill Phillips, CEO of RiverSmart with their 'big' cheque for $753,000 on World Environment Day.  With other contributions Macquarie RiverSmart was launched with close to $1 million to get on with the job. 

 

RiverSmart's way of operating is to help establish community-based programs within urban and rural areas that help 'connect' people with their nearby rivers, wetlands and lakes so they take on a stewardship role and also take steps to reduce the collective 'river footprint' of the community. 

 

This involves not only facilitating the establishment of rehabilitation reaches but also the development of RiverSmart schools, businesses, farms, homes etc initiatives within each community where projects are established.  These are tailored to suit the local issues, concerns and priorities of the local population and landholders.

 

 

 

RiverSmart is also about recreational opportunities along the river. 

Removing willows here will making for better and safer swimming.

 

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It's all go on the Macquarie River

 

RiverSmart's been there for two recent events on the Macquarie River.  The first was a Carp Muster held in Warren on 10-11 April (see photo below).  101 people came to fish with the biggest caught being 4.7kgs. A total of 167 carp weighing 205 kgs were removed from the river.  This was an initiative by the Central West CMA and NSW Department of Industry and Investment to raise awareness of plans to put in place a carp management strategy for the Macquarie Marshes.  Great stuff.

 

 

Then, on 2 May we were also there to support Dubbo's River Ride around the Tracker Riley bike track along the river.  Congratulations to Dubbo City Council, the RSL Club and Darrell Wheeler Cycles for making this happen.  As usual Macca was a big hit with the kids ! as you can see below.

 

 

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