INTO THE WILD: Another fine specimen of a Mary River cod ready for release.
INTO THE WILD: Another fine specimen of a Mary River cod ready for release. Contributed.

Breeding program will boost Mary River cod

THE Mary River Catchment Coordinating Committee has taken over management of the Gerry Cook Hatchery in Collwood Rd, Cooroy where the breeding program for the Mary River cod is now under way.

Fingerlings produced at the hatchery will soon be released into waterways at strategic locations in the Mary River catchment for conservation stocking.

Fingerlings will also be released into certain impoundments outside the Mary River catchment for recreational fish stocking where it is legal to be in possession of one Mary River cod.

The MRCCC is currently fund raising to support the breeding program at the Hatchery.

If you would like to help, please consider contributing to the Pozible crowd funding campaign by Monday, October 24.

People who contribute more than $250 will be given an opportunity to be involved with the release of cod fingerlings.

The Gerry Cook Hatchery will be open to the public from 9am until 4pm this Saturday, October 22, where people can see species like the endangered Mary River cod, the Queensland lungfish and the Mary River turtle, which occur naturally nowhere else in the world, making them some of the most unique species in existence.

To date, hundreds of landholders and land managers have carried out riverbank restoration activities across the catchment, aimed at improving water quality by reducing the level of sediment and nutrients entering waterways, and ultimately flowing to the estuary of the Mary River in the Great Sandy Strait, Hervey Bay, and the southern waters of the Great Barrier Reef.

On average the Mary River and tributaries deliver 450,000 tonnes of sediment to the estuary and the southern waters of the Great Barrier Reef each year.

That's enough to fill 50,000 dump trucks full of soil.

Around 95% of this sediment arrives in the estuary during major flood events with bank erosion identified as contributing the majority of sediment along the river.

Landholders working in partnership with the MRCCC receive advice and support to manage their river and creek frontage by controlling livestock access to streams, installing off stream watering points, controlling weeds and vines like Cat's Claw Creeper and re-vegetating river and creek banks with local native species.

Throughout a catchment covering nearly 10,000sq km, widespread community interest in threatened species may provide the impetus needed to change the status of many of these species from endangered to commonplace.

- CONTRIBUTED

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