The Hollands Creek Demonstration Reach is nestled within the Tatong Valley in North East Victoria. The project supports the Regional River Health Strategy and Murray-Darling Basin Authority Native Fish Strategy and targets a range of primary assets within the Hollands Branch. This project focuses on protecting and expanding suitable habitat for Macquarie perch populations.
The high priority status and major asset of the Hollands Creek Demonstration Reach is the endangered Macquarie perch (Macquaria australasica). Macquarie perch are listed as Endangered both nationally (under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999) and at the State level (Victorian Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988). These dark-grey or bluish–grey fish have a rounded tail, large, white eyes, and prominent pores on the snout and are restricted to only a few remaining stream reaches within the catchment.
The program has seen a range of works being implemented, including fencing, revegetation, pest plant control, habitat creation, monitoring and community activities. Detailed monitoring of key sites along the reach enables progress to be measured and demonstrates the effects and benefits of combined works.
This project, while using the Macquarie Perch as the project Icon will protect additional assets, including: Ecological Vegetation Classes (EVCs) and rare wetlands and significant fauna including the Bluenose (Trout) cod, Crimson-spotted rainbow fish, Eastern Horseshoe bat, Golden perch, Mountain galaxias and Turquoise parrot. Sections of Hollands Creek are also highly rated for social and recreational values (camping, swimming, walking).
This project has incorporated a range of field events to increase community awareness and longer term participation in the project and advocacy for the local fish community and river health. Meetings and field days have been held to increase the awareness of the project and signage, developed with the community, has been installed at key public access points. The planned works program has continued, with some adjustments through post-flood periods. Interest has grown in visiting the Hollands Creek Demonstration Reach project by community groups involved in like plans and projects in neighbouring regions, also focussing on Macquarie perch (King Parrot Creek, Hughes Creek and Sevens Creek).