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Water shortage hits fishing competition

Wednesday, 8th April, 2015

By Michael Murphy

A fishing competition that helps inject cash into the Menindee township has been postponed because of safety fears.

The state of the river and lakes has prompted the Menindee Development Committee to call off the event five months out from cast off.

“We decided not run it this year because of the water shortages,” said committee secretary Irene Hamilton, adding that the event had been scheduled for Father’s Day in September.

“If between now and the end of the year, by any miracle, we do get a big downpour down the river, we can revise the decision,” she said.

The angling contest not only needed enough water, but the quality of the water had to be “safe”.

“You can see black and green colouring of the water. The water quality is deteriorating,” Irene said yesterday.

“People are fishing, but it’s likely to be safe in September when we have the event.

“We don’t want to take money from our sponsors and from registrations if we can’t confidently say there is going to be an event in 2015.”

The group that organises the competition is a Section 355 committee of the Central Darling Shire, and while the challenge keeps them busy for most of the year, they also provide advice and assistance to the Shire on other matters.

Last year’s competition was a huge success and it managed to draw 300 registrations even though it was held on the same weekend as the Outback Rugby League grand final.

It raised about $5000 last year for the community. The committee keeps a portion of the funds in the bank to run the next event, and spends the rest on community services and facilities such as playgrounds. 

Last year’s event had 23 categories - including the biggest fish and most unusual catch - and people travelled from “far and wide” to take part in two days of fishing.

The committee is also seeking out NSW Fisheries grants to help make the event even better.

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