Dartbrook’s Hunter River Restoration Project
Box structures were installed in the Hunter River to provide improved habitat conditions for the native bass to populate
Along the banks of the Hunter River in New South Wales are two box structures, called “fish hotels” that are helping restore native fish habitats and promote biodiversity.
Since 2009, Anglo American, the Hunter Central Rivers Catchment Management Authority and the New South Wales Department of Primary Industries have worked together to improve flow conditions in the river. The intention is to attract the native bass and other fish species back into the water, while restoring biodiversity and stabilising the river banks that have deteriorated over the years.
20 log jams have been constructed over a 6.5 kilometre stretch of the Hunter River where it interfaces with Anglo American’s property at the Dartbrook mine. Dartbrook mine was placed under care and maintenance in 2006, however, environmental management work has continued.
The project has concentrated on the following areas:
- Changing water flow to favour local fish
The works in the river itself provide greater complexity for the stream flow, with the log jams in the water creating pool and riffle sequences as well as bank stabilisation. This creates the diverse habitat favoured by native fish.
- Stabilising river banks
The restoration project has also included complementary works to improve stability of river banks and encourage biodiversity. Fencing has been installed to exclude stock from the river banks and troughs provide off stream watering points for cattle instead.
- Restoring a remnant strand of Red River Gums
More than 2,500 Red River Gum tree seedlings were planted along the river banks, grown from on-site collected seed. The River Red Gum (Eucalyptus camaldulensis) is a threatened species in the Hunter Valley.