Habitat restoration enhances Bundaleer’s reputation as fishing paradise   


The Bundaleer project.

OzFish Unlimited

OzFish Unlimited – Australia’s fishing conservation charity and SA Water have joined forces to help revitalise Bundaleer Reservoir to create better habitat for native fish species.

Following on from the success of similar projects at Warren Reservoir in 2021 and 2022, OzFish members from the Barossa-Mid North Chapter rolled up their sleeves at the renowned fishing location in the Clare Valley region of South Australia.

The restoration will directly support target species such as golden perch, silver perch and Murray cod.

“We constructed six complex habitat structures made from Eucalyptus limbs and branches,” said Rachel Williams, OzFish Project Manager – South Australia.

“Many fish species rely on woody habitat, and with no old growth trees on the banks of the reservoir, there is limited natural input of timber.

“This will be great for recreational fishers. We hope that this gives native fish numbers a real boost.

“As they are ambush predators, the fish will start using these structures almost immediately and will give them a place to weave in and out, breed and feed but also rest.”

The volunteers were led by Chapter president Luke Chamings. They used chainsaws to create the structures from fallen branches before they were carefully, attached to limestone rocks to anchor them to the bottom of the reservoir.

After the structures were created by OzFish volunteers, SA Water then deployed them at specific sites identified by GPS mapping as the ideal locations for the local fish populations.

The grant for the project was administered by SA Water through the Reservoirs Partnership Program which aims to champion conservation, education or recreation, and help connect communities with the state’s reservoir reserves for their enjoyment and preservation.

SA Water’s Senior Manager of Environment and Energy James Crocker said the initiative will help improve fish health in Bundaleer Reservoir and support the recreational fishing experience for visitors.

“Conservation projects such as this one with OzFish are incredibly valuable to helping sustain the reservoir’s native fish population, by providing these habitats as a source of food and shelter,” he said.

This project was made possible via funding from SA Water through the Reservoirs Partnership Program and OzFish, supported by BCF – Boating, Camping, Fishing.

About OzFish

OzFish Unlimited is a national environmental conservation charity established to improve the health of our rivers, lakes and estuaries. It is a member-based organisation dedicated to make our fishing grounds healthy, vibrant and more productive. Their active work includes; habitat restoration such as resnagging, riverbank planting, clean-ups, fishways, shellfish reefs and educational and community capacity building programs.

OzFish Unlimited

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