60,000 Golden Perch fingerlings released into CQ waterway

From Bedford Weir to the Fitzroy River, Central Queensland waterways are brimming with Golden Perch after tens of thousands of Yellowbelly fingerlings were released at the weekend.

In preparation for the annual Saratoga Spectacular fishing event in October, more than 100 Blackwater locals released more than 60,000 Gold Perch fingerlings into Bedford Weir.

This event forms part of Yancoal Australia’s Yarrabee Coal Mine partnership with the Mackenzie River Fish Stocking Association to sponsor this event for several years.

The MRFSA undertake the annual release of the fingerlings to ensure the ecosystem and fish stock numbers remain healthy.

Fish from previous releases have been caught as far away as the mouth of the Fitzroy River and the ocean.

Along with many other CQ fishing enthusiasts, the Yarrabee team was on hand for the release of the fingerlings.

Yancoal Yarrabee, MRFSA and Hanwood Fish Hatchery members at Bedford Weir.
Yancoal Yarrabee, MRFSA and Hanwood Fish Hatchery members at Bedford Weir.

Yarrabee Coal operations manager, Cris Shadbolt, said fishing was a fantastic sport that was open to all ages.

“Fishing is healthy for the mind and body, being outdoors and active, and the Saratoga Spectacular always brings the fishing community together for a competitive yet fun event,” Cris said.

“Releasing the Yellowbelly fingerlings was a fun and great start to what should be a popular and strong competition, as well as a crucial aspect to the health of the river.”

MRFSA president Andrew McSherry said the health and quality of the Mackenzie River, especially at Bedford Weir, allowed fish fingerlings such as the Yellowbelly to grow quickly and healthily.

“Natural flows and fish movements within the river system help distribute the fish throughout the Mackenzie River, including into the Greater Fitzroy River,” he said.

“Fish that have been released at Blackwater’s Bedford Weir have been caught as far away as Rockhampton and the mouth of the Fitzroy River to the ocean.”

The funding support is part of the Yancoal Yarrabee Community Support Program, which aims to make a difference in the community and to the lives of the people who work and live in the areas where it operates.