Better fishing in Penrith

Upgraded fish way facility to improve fish migration around Penrith Weir

Better fishing in Penrith
Better fishing in Penrith

A fishing closure at a popular NSW fishing spot in Penrith will result in better angling opportunities for local fishers once upgrade works are completed.

Industry & Investment NSW senior fisheries manager Cameron Westaway said the Penrith Weir will be off limits to fishers until February 28, 2010 while enhancement works are carried out on an existing fish ladder and the weir structure.

"The closure itself affects only a small area from 115m upstream to the boom line, and 132m downstream to the junction with Peach Tree Creek," said Westaway.

"Fishing is still allowed within the Nepean River upstream and downstream of this area.

"NSW Fisheries officers have placed signs at the site clearly indicating the area that is closed and Fisheries officers will be regularly patrolling the area and enforcing the closure."

Fish ladders are designed to assist fish in their upstream migration, especially when their natural movement may be hindered by a manmade object.

"The existing fish ladder at Penrith Weir has been identified as not being highly effective and will be upgraded to a new vertical slot fish way," said Westaway.

"The vertical slot design has been determined as the most suitable for the Penrith Weir because it is capable of passing thousands of migrating fish.

"This particular fish way will improve passage for migrating Australian bass that move from freshwater, to brackish saltwater during their breeding season, and then return to freshwater.

"The Australian bass is known by anglers as an important freshwater sportfish and therefore it’s of great importance that nothing impedes their passage.

"This improved fish ladder will allow for a more natural migration and ultimately improve fish populations and therefore recreational fishing in this part of the river."

Industry & Investment NSW said fisheries research staff are conducting fish survey assessments at and around the Penrith Weir fish way and structure to ensure its successful operation.

The Penrith Weir and fish way upgrade is part of a $33 million Nepean River rehabilitation upgrade being undertaken by the Sydney Catchment Authority to improve environmental flows in the river from upstream water supply dams, and ultimately improve the aquatic environment and better fishing.

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