A major fishing project near Geelong is now complete, with the construction of three new artificial reefs aimed at improving water quality and fishing opportunities for thousands of Victorians who utilise Corio Bay.
Constructed using 2,000 tonnes of basalt donated from the new Youth Justice centre under construction at Cherry Creek, the reefs are intended to improve water quality, create diversity in marine habitats and boost fish stocks in the region.
The donated basalt was seeded with 400,000 native flat oysters and installed at three sites around Corio Bay in February 2021 through a Victorian Fisheries Authority (VFA) initiative supported by the Community Safety Building Authority.
As well as improving water quality, the VFA hopes the new reefs will also give fishers improved access to Victoria’s fish species including King George whiting, snapper and calamari.
Donated rock from the Cherry Creek project is also being used in a second VFA-led project aimed at installing purpose-built fish habitat structures into the Maribyrnong River.
Rock from the Cherry Creek site will be combined with concrete structures produced by prisoners at the Hopkins Correctional Centre to create a number of protected fish habitats aimed at improving water quality and fish stocks along the Maribyrnong River.
Installation of the Maribyrnong River fish habitats is expected to start later this year. More information on artificial reef projects involving Cherry Creek can be found on the Victorian Fisheries Authority website.
An increasing amount of rock has been excavated from the Cherry Creek site since main works commenced last year.
Construction of the 140-bed facility is expected to create more than 600 jobs during construction and provide a major economic boost to the Werribee area with more than 250 ongoing jobs will be created once the facility is operational.
Construction of the youth justice facility is being managed by John Holland, overseen by the Community Safety Building Authority.
The reefs are situated at three locations around Corio Bay at Outer Harbour, Kirk Point and St Helens. Donated rock was supplied from Victoria’s new youth justice centre currently being built west of Werribee, in the vicinity of Cherry Creek.