Fishing will now be an easier task for people of all abilities with the announcement of an all accessible fishing pontoon to be installed at Lake Wallace.
The project will be funded with $53,000 under the NSW Recreational Fishing Trust grant, announced by Minister for Agriculture Adam Marshall on Tuesday, September 8.
"That's [funding] to install a floating pontoon to allow people of all abilities to be able to get out onto the water and put a line in or for ease of access in and out of kayaks and small boats," he said.
Mr Marshall was joined by Bathurst MP Paul Toole, Lithgow City mayor Cr Ray Thompson and Wallerawang Central Acclimatisation Society secretary Ray Tang.
Mr Tang approached Lithgow City Council with the idea of constructing an accessible fishing platform and then they applied for the grant.
"We basically did it together," he said.
"It's a project to allow everybody of all mobilities to have access to recreational fishing," Mr Tang said.
He said a number of the Wallerawang fishing society's members were either in wheelchairs or faced mobility difficulties which have prevented them from shore fishing.
With the help of Council, it was decided a modular floating platform made of interlocked and anchored floating blocks, and non-slip vinyl matting and guard rails would be the most suitable option.
The platform, being the first of its kind in inland NSW constructed solely for recreational fishing, will extend around 30 metres off shore. It can also be relocated due to being a modular floating system.
Cr Thompson said it was an exciting project and Mr Tang and his group had been very active in promoting Lake Wallace as a fishing destination.
"I'm pleased that it is going to be an even better fishing location for the increasing number of locals and visitors who go there, especially older people and people living with a disability."
A further $80,000 in funding was announced by Mr Marshall for The Foundations Mill Pond at Portland.
"The grant will enable some over water platforms to be constructed just to make this an even more attractive fishing and recreation spot," he said.
As part of the project The Foundations owners will open up the top side of the Mill Pond allowing access from Williwa Street.
"We always talk about what points of interest we can start introducing to The Foundations and this project is one of them," owner Martin O'Connell said.
Mr O'Connell hoped to have the project complete by Christmas.
Coinciding with the funding announcements, 50 rainbow trout were each released into Lake Wallace and the Mill Pond by the Dutton Trout Hatchery.
The broodstock were averaging 70 centimetres in length and weighing around four kilograms.
Mr Marshall encouraged people to come down to their local waterways and drop a line in.
"It's a Covid-safe recreational activity and a great way to involve the family," he said.
Mr Marshall also encouraged keen anglers and community members to apply for funding, with almost $20 million now available for projects that improve and promote recreational fishing across the State.
"There's $20 million in the bucket so I'd encourage people across the region to look at these two projects that have been funded and maybe get some ideas from that to improve recreational fishing opportunities in the region," he said.
Funding guidelines and application forms are available at www.dpi.nsw.gov.au and applications close on October 30.
Grant ideas can also be discussed by contacting DPI Fisheries on (02) 4916 3835 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
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