Plan to protect fish stocks wins support

PLANS to restrict development along the Calliope River is a win for fishing lovers.

Fishing expert Darryl Branthwaite yesterday said the proposal for a 7km declared fish habitat area would lead to more fish in the long run.

Residents along the Calliope River can have their say on the state government plan.

The Department of Natural Parks, Recreation, Sport and Racing says the new habitat will start 20m from the railway bridge across the Calliope River - upstream from the anabranch - to about 7km upstream from the Calliope River Bridge on the Bruce Hwy.

Mr Branthwaite said the area was a prime breeding ground for popular fish including barramundi.

He said it also had potential for residential rural and lifestyle block development.

"I think it's a good thing in principle," The Observer fishing columnist said yesterday.

"A lot of barra hatch there and that's just one species.

"The Calliope River is a beautiful spot - you can find deer basking in the sun in the mornings and the views are great.

"The plan will have an impact on the future development of the river banks, so that needs to be taken into account."

Gladstone Mayor Gail Sellers anyone with plans to develop aquaculture, boat ramps or any other development along the river should contact the government straight away.

"The State Government has advised that a declaration will not affect recreational, boating or fishing in the area, but it will affect future development alongside the river," Cr Sellers aid.

"This is an opportunity for residents who think they might be affected to have their say."

She said fish habitat areas were common and were designed to ensure the sustainability of fish stocks now and in the future.

The closing date for comment is November 7.



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