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Degradation

As a result of poor land and water management practices over the last century, a number of the State’s waterways and river fisheries are now in a degraded state.

As a result of poor land and water management practices over the last century, a number of the State’s waterways and river fisheries are now in a degraded state.

Examples of this  degradation includes:

  • habitat loss both within the waterways and along the edges (riparian zones)
  • alterations in natural flow regimes
  • contaminants entering waterways
  • erosion of riverbanks and scouring of river beds
  • in-stream barriers have been erected and
  • introduction of non-native plant species.

Many fish and invertebrates are very sensitive to the degradation that has taken place around them. Examples include:

  • removing riparian and in-stream habitat, which removes fish shelter, spawning material and food sources
  • changing water flows which can de-water preferred habitat also making fish more susceptible to predation
  • contaminants directly killing fish and invertebrates
  • erosion adds sediments that can smother eggs and kill some species
  • erecting in-stream barriers can reduce fish movements and eliminate migrations and introduced plants can ‘choke’ waterways.