Golden perch fingerlings. Photo: Fisheries Queensland via Sail-World.
Golden perch fingerlings. Photo: Fisheries Queensland via Sail-World.

5000 baby fish puts dam on track to become fishing hotspot

It wasn't that long ago the Tenterfield Dam was in danger of running dry.

In the aftermath of the horror 2019 bushfires, the dam dropped to 17 per cent capacity, but up to 2.8m of the dam was silt.

The council was quickly forced to consider all emergency options for water, including the use of recycled water, and the shire was put on level 4.7 water restrictions.

But just over 12 months later, it's a very different story.

Now the dam is full of water and, as of last week, baby fish.

More than 3000 golden perch (yellowbelly) fingerlings were released into various locations along Tenterfield Creek and 20000 were also put into Tenterfield Dam.

A large number of breeding trout were also released into the dam in October 2020 to encourage species recovery following the effects of drought and fire.

Mayor Peter Petty said the restocking was funded by the Bushfire & Drought Recovery Programme and was part of the NSW DPI Fisheries promise to stock Tenterfield Dam for recreational fishing use in the future.

It means the dam is on track to become a fishing hotspot.

 

Tenterfield Shire Council staff on hand to assist with release of juvenile golden perch, including acting chief executive Kylie Smith, executive assistant Noelene Hyde, projects engineer Mel Blum and community volunteer Brett Dowd.
Tenterfield Shire Council staff on hand to assist with release of juvenile golden perch, including acting chief executive Kylie Smith, executive assistant Noelene Hyde, projects engineer Mel Blum and community volunteer Brett Dowd.

 

"With the approval of the tender for construction of the new Tenterfield Water Treatment Plant at the December 2020 meeting, council can now begin to positively plan the use of Tenterfield Dam as a recreational fishing precinct once the new filtration plant is operational in 2022, which gives these tiny fingerlings plenty of time to grow, breed, and establish a good fishing stock," Cr Petty said.

"It has been a long road to here.

"In March 2019 council was awarded $7 million through the NSW Government's Safe & Secure Water Program to upgrade the Water Treatment Plant.

"This was supplemented in October 2020 with $2.64 million from the Federal Government's Building Better Regions Funding.

"Being able to use the dam for recreational fishing where everybody will have the opportunity to throw in a line will encourage visitors and local alike.

"I sincerely thank Michael Davey and NSW DPI Fisheries for their assistance in helping council to access the fish to restock the dam and Tenterfield Creek."