New hatchery brings opportunities to Northern Queensland
By Quentin Dodd
By Quentin Dodd
Members of the Mount Isa Fish Stocking Group (MIFSG) in Queensland, Australia have been eagerly anticipating the opening of a new fish restocking hatchery expected to be completed this fall.
Besides aiding the areas economy by improving fishing for local anglers, the new facility will grow big barramundi (Lates calcarifer) for future Lake Moondarra Fishing Classics – the group’s annual fundraiser.
Hatchery co-ordinator George Fortune said some weeks ago, after the main concrete slab had been poured, and the walls and roof raised, that the next stage would be the installation of 10-kilowatt rooftop solar panels.
Community-benefit group president Steve Farnsworth described how seven viewing tanks at the front of the hatchery would display the range of species being stocked, including sooty grunter (Hephaestus fuliginous), barramundi and sleepy cod (Oxyeleotris lineolata). He said the project had been an outstanding example of cooperation between the volunteer stocking group and a number of business, including the local mining company.
The Glencore Community Program North Queensland (GCPNQ) partnered with the MIFSG by providing $235,000 in funding to build the facility and develop recreational fisheries in the lakes around Mount Isa.
The facility will also support tourism, education and training programs for northwest Queensland communities by including what is being described as a “state-of-the-art interpretive display centre” and unique tourist attraction.
Chris McCleave, general manager for the George Fisher Mine is quoted as saying that environmental initiatives form one of the GCPNQ’s main or key areas of support.
“A key part of our commitment … is investing in environmental programs that focus on the protection of environmental values,” McCleave said. “By restocking our lakes and local fisheries, and improving recreational fishing in the region, we’re helping the environment while also helping to make the northwest more liveable.”
— Quentin Dodd