28 August 2023

A partnership project to transform unused water storages into community fishing lagoons has been recognised with a national water industry award.

Dunyak Moira (meaning fishing lagoons in Yorta Yorta language) will see two decommissioned water storages at the Merrigum Water Treatment Plant reimagined as a local recreational fishing site, developed in partnership by Goulburn Valley Water and the Burnanga Indigenous Fishing Club.

In July, it was named as the recipient of the Water Industry Operators’ Association’s 2023 Kwatye Award, which is designed to highlight initiatives supporting diversity and fostering inclusion in the workplace or community.

Dunyak Moira will be officially opened in mid-October, with public access available afterwards. More information will be available on GVW’s website closer to the opening date.

The two lagoons will be catch and release, and are home to hundreds of Murray Cod and Yellowbellies of all different sizes – including a couple over one metre in length. The lagoons have artificial fish habitats created through upcycling donated large concrete pipes and tree rootballs, as well as floating fishing platforms.

Goulburn Valley Water Acting Managing Director Daniel Hughes said the award was great recognition for a partnership venture that would improve community access to water spaces for recreational access.

“This project will create so many lasting benefits for the region – it will help encourage people to spend more time outdoors and get involved in recreational activities,” Mr Hughes said.

“Not only will the fishing lagoons be a great asset for the community, the project has also helped foster many relationships and given our staff opportunities to use their skills in new ways to manage a project that they’re passionate about, outside of their normal activities.

“We’ve seen the community and local businesses come together to bring this project to life, which makes it something quite unique and special.”

The site will also be the official home to the Burnanga Indigenous Fishing Club, Victoria’s first Indigenous Fishing Club.

President Corey Walker said club members were excited to see the fishing lagoons taking shape.

“Dunyak Moira will help us create more opportunities through the club to connect to Country and improve health and wellbeing through outdoor activities, and educate people about native fish as well as hosting fishing activities,” he said.

“We know the community is really excited for these lagoons to open, and so are we. We’re also really excited to see how this project can bring people together, but also help bring more people to visit and experience Yorta Yorta Country.”

People can find more information at the Dunyak Moira website