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Artificial Reefs Are Go For Launch

Ken A

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For the first time in NSW artificial reefs will be deployed into a recreational fishing haven in a bid to improve fishing conditions.

NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI), Manager Recreational Fisheries, John Diplock, said this is excellent news for recreational fishers in Lake Macquarie.

‘The six small artificial reefs, which are made up of around 30 moulded concrete balls per reef, will today be deployed in the vicinity of Galgabba point on the eastern shore of Lake Macquarie.

‘Reef balls are very popular with anglers throughout the world with about half a million deployed in many different countries. They are found to attract greater numbers of fish to the area and also provide protection for juveniles.

‘The balls can easily be moved or removed completely if necessary,’ Mr Diplock said.

The Saltwater Recreational Fishing Trust has funded the project through the recreational fishing licence fee.

‘Before the reefs could be deployed DPI was required to undertake scientific surveys of the sites and surrounding natural reefs in the lake. This information will be used to help form a comparison with the artificial reefs.

‘Over the next two years the reefs will be monitored by video and divers to determine the species of fish, the size, when the fish are there and how long they stay for.

‘Local recreational fishing clubs will also be asked to monitor their catches,’ Mr Diplock said.

In total 180 small reef balls will be deployed into the lake.

The artificial reef project has received widespread support from Lake Macquarie City Council, the Concerned Anglers Group, anglers, the local community and the Boat Owners Association.

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