IN an innovative move, Corangamite Catchment Management Authority (CMA) will band together with the Australian River Restoration Centre (ARRC) and two other CMA’s in Victoria to launch their first crowdfunding campaign on Pozible aptly named ‘Funds for Fish’, with full support from Aussie cricket legend, Merv Hughes.

With the 30 day campaign launched on 13 February 2017, the Corangamite community, fishing enthusiasts and nature lovers are being called on to support this local project which will help re-establish Estuary Perch in Spring Creek. “Our focus is on Spring Creek as Estuary Perch is currently not found here. We also know that a range of species are caught including Black Bream, Yelloweye Mullet, Flounder and Australian Salmon. So, by re-snagging the estuary and revegetation works to key parts of the waterway, we’ll be able to provide critical habitat to increase these species’ populations,” says Nick McCristal, spokesperson for Corangamite CMA. “Whilst we work hard to monitor and improve the health of our waterways, we’ve realised this is something we cannot do alone. We’re appealing to the public because we understand how effective local communities can be to achieve big changes.. Using crowdfunding, social media and other channels, we want to empower the community to get involved and help make a positive transformation to our waterways. We chose crowdfunding as it enables the community to directly invest in causes and projects that they care about,” says Adam Bester, project manager for the Funds for Fish project.

People supporting the crowdfunding campaign will be able to donate upwards of $1 to the project, or buy a range of perks. Corangamite CMA will match dollar for dollar the funds raised by the community using funding from the Victorian Government’s Regional Riparian Action Plan and other government initiatives to improve the health of regional waterways. These funds will be used to add new fish hotels to Spring Creek estuary and fence and revegetate another 1.5 kilometres of the waterway.

As an avid fisherman and with his own angling television show ‘Merv Hughes Fishing’, Aussie cricketing legend Merv Hughes says it was a no brainer to lend his support to the program. “Funds For Fish is a great way to increase angler awareness of the importance of habitat for fish. More habitat in our rivers means more fish to catch” says Merv.

Each CMA has set a funding goal to carry out specific projects they seek to roll out in their catchment area. Corangamite CMA aim to raise a total of $10,000 to accelerate the above mentioned works and to provide Estuary Perch and other species with habitats that will allow fish populations to thrive in Spring Creek. All donations are fully tax deductible through the Australian River Restoration Centre.

To be the first to hear when the campaign goes live or to offer support for the campaign, go to www. fundsforfish.com.au and join the database or follow the project on Corangamite CMA’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/CorangamiteCMA