Recognising Four Years of the Angler Riparian Partnerships Program

Over the last four years, recfishers have been getting their hands dirty planting trees and caring for the the strip of land adjacent to our rivers, streams and lakes as part of the Angler Riparian Partnerships Program (ARPP).

The program has enabled recfishers to partner with catchment managers and their local communities to deliver works to improve riparian land along our waterways. Its been delivered by catchment management authorities (CMAs), through $1-million in funding earmarked from the Victorian Government’s Water for Victoria Plan.

From 2016-2020, 1045 volunteers from 156 angling clubs and community groups worked with CMA’s to repair land along 30 waterways.

Over 41,555 native trees were planted and 174 hectares of weeds were controlled. These efforts improved 70-kilometres of riparian land in 39 different projects across Victoria.

It’s no wonder recfishers have jumped at the opportunity to give back to their fishery. Improving fish habitat and and looking after our waterways results in a better and more resilient fishery.

VRFish has supported and promoted the Angler Riparian Partnerships Program through encouraging recreational fishers to get involved in the on-ground projects. We have co-hosted a number of tree planting days to help kick off the program and engagement with recreational fishers.

In 2018, VRFish co-hosted with Australian Trout Foundation (ATF) and the Goulburn Broken CMA to hold a tree planting day on the Steavenson River near Marysville. In 2019, VRFish partnered with the Corangamite CMA along with local angling clubs to hold two tree planting days on the Barwon River and Curdies River. More than 5,000 trees were planted by volunteers during the two tree planting events.

While the first four years of the Angler Riparian Partnerships Program has come to an end, we believe the success of the program warrants increased and ongoing funding.

We are hopeful that more funds will be allocated to through the investment of the fifth tranche of the Environmental Contribution Levy. What you may not know is every time you pay your water bill a small percentage is set aside in the Environmental Contribution Levy to be invested in the sustainable management of water and address adverse water-related environmental impacts.

In addition to riparian works, VRFish would like to see the scope of works expanded to include in-stream fish restoration works and also a greater focus on supporting recreational fishers to build our capacity to deliver more.

The Angler Riparian Partnerships Program was funded through the $40 million Regional Riparian Action Plan and was part of the broader $222 million the Victorian Government announced in Water for Victoria to improve the health of waterways and catchments across regional Victoria during the four year period.

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