Like many people around the region, we have spent countless hours throwing in a line at one of our many fishing spots.

Fishing certainly is a sport that the whole family can enjoy and the memories created by these days on the river will stay with you for your whole life.

So the health of our river system is vital and keeping it that way for many generations to come.

That’s why we were interested in finding out about the Northern Basin Review, being done by the Murray–Darling Basin Authority (MDBA).

As part of the Review, they’ve been looking at what fish need when it comes to the best conditions for breeding, setting up home and making it to old age.

For the first time ever more than 1100kms of Darling River has been mapped between Walgett and Wilcannia, looking closely at river bank shape and depth, vegetation and river snags.

They’ve found that the time of year, the volume and the rate of river flows make a big difference to whether fish can breed, how they move around the rivers and wetlands, and where they choose to hang out.

Flows in these northern rivers are highly variable and not all fish like the same things. The study has also identified which species prefer particular parts of a river system.

Some native fish need deeper, faster flowing water to breed, while others prefer to lay their eggs on vegetation in the calmer waters of a wetland.

This study is helping to better understand which types of fish are where in the northern basin and the different types of river flows they need for breeding, habitat and completing their life cycle.

So what does this all mean? We all know that a good day on the water is something many of us enjoy. But we are not the only ones in the community who rely on the river system. Farmers, agricultural businesses and everyone living in towns across the Murray–Darling Basin all have an interest in how it is managed.

We understand that this fish study, and others currently underway, will feed into decisions to be made by our government on how water is managed in some northern basin catchments. These decisions will take into account the socio-economic effects on communities while still supporting native fish, plant and animals.

The Murray–Darling Basin is an Australian icon and we are famous the world over for the way in which we manage it.  I would encourage everyone who relies on it in our part of the world to find out more about the Northern Basin Review.

We know staff at the MDBA are keen to hear from people who rely on the Murray–Darling Basin for work or pleasure. Joining the conversation gives you and your community the opportunity to discuss the work and ask questions.  For more information about the Review, you can call the Authority on 1800 30 114 or join the conversation on their online engagement website; getinvolved.mdba.gov.au/nbr send a letter to GPO Box 1801, Canberra City, ACT, 2601.  You can also email engagement@mdba.gov.au or go to www.mdba.gov.au

We all want a good future in the Basin and we all need to be part of the solution. If you have any questions or reports from your area, drop us a line at joshandjamiefishing@gmail.com or visit www.joshandjamiefishing.com.au