Modern-day Noah’s Ark sails into Macquarie River carrying 50,000 Murray Cod

More than 50,000 Murray Cod were returned to the Macquarie River today as part of the NSW Government’s ambitious plan to save the State’s native fish species, Member for Dubbo Dugald Saunders has announced.

Mr Saunders said the juvenile Murray Cod were among 400,000 native fish to be stocked in waterways across the State this month alone.

“Well this is simply fantastic news to see 50,000 Murray Cod restocked into the Macquarie River,” Mr Saunders said.

“This is all part of the NSW Government’s largest-ever fish breeding program launched last year, when we created a modern day ‘Noah’s Ark’ to save the State’s native species from deaths caused by record low inflows and rainfall, and high temperatures.

“To have thousands of these juvenile fish being stocked back into the Macquarie River is another sign that the region is really beginning to bounce back from the drought.

“This is great news for fishers of course, and it will be an economic boost for the area as the fish population rebounds, but it will also give the wider community a real lift to think that our rivers are ready to support the recovery of these native species.”

Mr Saunders said that half of the 50,000 restocked fish had been bred from 25 Murray Cod rescued from the Macquarie last year, along with other broodstock already at the NSW Government’s flagship hatchery at Narranderra.

“Last November, the NSW Government worked alongside local volunteer anglers from Inland Waterways OzFish to identify the most at-risk sections of the Macquarie River and to rescue and relocate more than 220 native fish,” Mr Saunders said.

“Twenty-five thousand of these Murray Cod released today were bred from some of those rescued fish, so it is great they have been returned to their home waterway.

“DPI has done a phenomenal job in breeding these offspring. This program ensures our iconic fish species will always swim through waterways across the Dubbo region and across NSW, no matter how severe future summers might be.”

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