Builders set to move into Lake Macquarie


Artificial reefs that enhance recreational fishing in areas lacking natural aquatic resources are proving to be very successful

The State’s first special underwater housing project for fish is undergoing some major renovations this month, with the expansion of the Lake Macquarie artificial reef, said NSW Primary Industries Minister, Ian Macdonald.

"In 2005, Lake Macquarie, south of Newcastle, was the first estuary in NSW to house an artificial reef, with 180 Reef Balls installed in six separate small reefs, off Galgabba Point," said Macdonald.

"This project has been subject to scientific monitoring by Industry & Investment staff since installation, to ascertain its effectiveness and monitor ecological impacts.

"It’s pleasing to note that research has shown the artificial reef is very successful at attracting a number of different species of fish, and habitat for aquatic life.

"The artificial reef has attracted an abundance of fish, with up to 42 species recorded. These include resident, sedentary species like bream, flathead and leatherjackets, as well as more transient species, such as amberjack, and yellowtail kingfish."

The proposed reef extension will provide an additional artificial reef study area allowing I&I NSW to build on its understanding of the benefits of artificial reefs.

Around 420 Reef Balls are being added to the existing locations, placed immediately adjacent to the existing reefs.

"The expanded reef will be the state’s largest artificial reef system occupying an area of approximately 2200m²," said Macdonald.

"I&I NSW artificial reef program managers are expected to begin deployment of the additional Reef Balls this month.

"Artificial reefs are funded by the NSW Saltwater Recreational Fishing Trust, and have been enthusiastically supported by local councils, especially Lake Macquarie City Council.

"Artificial reefs are constructed to enhance recreational fishing opportunities for anglers and are deployed in areas lacking natural aquatic reef habitat."

Visit www.industry.nsw.gov.au for more information about artificial reefs.

 


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