Twenty Macquarie Perch rescued after the last bushfire season have been returned to the wild at Adjungbilly Creek, Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke has announced.

Ms Cooke said the waterway near Gundagai had been chosen to home the rescued species as it provided the ideal environment for them to thrive.

Bailey Piper, 13 and George Graham, 12, from properties bordering Adjungbilly Creek, release Macquarie Perch under
the guidance of NSW DPI Fisheries.

“Macquarie Perch have been in decline and the drought and bushfires of last year gave another hit to their population, so it’s fantastic to see them saved,” Ms Cooke said.

“Adjungbilly Creek is unique as it is one of only four remaining natural populations for Macquarie Perch in NSW and is the only population that remains below some of the major impoundments.

“This is the first stage of recovery for the endangered species, and releasing them into Adjungbilly Creek will add genetic diversity to this population, which will make them more resilient in the long term.

“The NSW Government has worked closely with local landholders to be able to release these rescued fish into Adjungbilly Creek as part of its $10 million Native Fish Rescue Strategy.”

Ms Cooke said the Macquarie Perch had been rescued from both Cataract Dam and Mannus Creek.

“The goal is to eventually be able to relocate genetically diverse fish back to Mannus Creek once it has recovered from the bushfire,” Ms Cooke said. 

“The Macquarie Perch in Cataract Dam were translocated from the Murrumbidgee River into Cataract Dam in approximately 1914 and their descendants are now, 106 years later, making a return to the catchment of their origin.

“It’s fantastic to see the landholders getting involved in a project like this that will have lasting impacts on the river for our local community and our native fish.”

These activities will contribute towards implementing the priorities in the National Recovery Plan for Macquarie Perch, finalised in 2019.