SuniTAFE students lend a hand to create fish hotels

13 Feb 2023

Thousands of fish will benefit from the hard work of SuniTAFE VCAL students who are currently part of a Priority Species program.

This project is part of the Healthy rivers program – round one partnership with OZFish Unlimited, Sunraysia River Repair Bus and First Peoples of Millewa Mallee, it commenced in August with the construction of 20 fish hotels having begun in November 2022 and expected to be completed by March 2023.

Students are involved in the construction of each of the fish hotels and will join First Peoples of Millewa Mallee ranger team and OzFish Unlimited volunteers when they are installed in Butler’s Creek local waterways.

SuniTAFE Conservation and Land Management teacher Taylar Pay said the project was a fantastic opportunity for all those involved.
“It has given our students a chance to interact with industry, it’s all very hands-on and learning real-life skills, while also being involved in creating something that will benefit the eco-system,” he said.

Taylar said fish hotels are wooden structures that are built to emulate what naturally occurs in rivers and streams when trees fall into the waterway.
“These hotels create spaces that provide habitat, refuge and a living and breeding area for important fish species,” he said.

“Fish hotels provide an additional level of complexity to the habitats available for native fish and other aquatic fauna species.”

Once the fish hotels have been installed, OzFish Unlimited will be monitoring the outcome of the project with the aim to see an increase in fish, algae and macro-invertebrate populations.

The Threatened Species Strategy Action Plan was made possible through Environment Restoration Fund.