Cooke stands in a river and holds a glass container full of water and fish fingerlings.

More than 50,000 Murray Cod were returned to the Upper Lachlan today as part of the NSW Government’s ambitious plan to save the State’s native fish species.

Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke took part in the release and said the juvenile Murray Cod were among 400,000 native fish to be stocked in waterways across the State this month alone.

“It is fantastic to see 50,000 Murray Cod restocked into the Upper Lachlan. They will eventually make their homes in spots from Cowra to Wyangala and Carcoar Dams,” Ms Cooke 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 Upper Lachlan 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 boost to know our rivers are ready to support the recovery of these native species.”

Ms Cooke said the 50,000 restocked fish had been bred from Murray Cod rescued last year, along with other wild brood stock already at the NSW Government’s flagship hatchery at Narrandera.

“DPI has done a phenomenal job in breeding these fish at the world-class hatchery at Narrandera,” Ms Cooke said.  

“This program ensures our iconic fish species will always swim through waterways across the Cootamundra electorate and NSW.”