STATE government is seeking community input regarding potential offline SA Water fishing reservoirs in Aroona Dam and Beetaloo Reservoir.
Aroona Dam, near Leigh Creek, is being investigated as a potential fishing destination in the region, with a six-week community consultation commencing earlier this month.
Topics being addressed include safety, environmental impacts and potential infrastructure improvements.
State Minister for Environment Ian Hunter encouraged local community members to get involved in the decision-making process.
After access for recreational fishing was granted for the Warren, Bundaleer and Tod reservoirs, Mr Hunter said the state government has been seeking additional destinations to boost fishing opportunities.
“Preliminary conversations with the local communities and SA Water highlighted Beetaloo Reservoir and Aroona Dam as prospective fishing spots that would support our 277,000 recreational fishers, boost tourism and create community partnerships in the mid-north,” he said.
State government announced the Reservoir Fishing Access Project in 2014, with the purpose of increasing recreational fishing opportunities in South Australia.
Following the project’s announcement, a Reservoir Recreational Fishing Taskforce was created to oversee the project, receiving $400,000 for minor infrastructure around reservoirs.
Breyten Ward, owner of the Leigh Creek South Motors service station and cafe, supported the potential fishing destination, despite not being ‘big on fishing’.
“It’s a beautiful dam and the only way we're going to survive in Leigh Creek, in the short term anyway, is tourism,” Mr Ward said.
“It’s a huge transition to what we’ve been in the last 50 years; things have got to change in lots of ways.”
Mr Ward said an offline fishing reservoir would be a great way to utilise the space, attracting tourists to the town.
“It’d be a huge step as far as I’m concerned,” he said.
“It would help my business, but not just mine, it’ll boost the whole area.”
The decision on the opening of fishing destinations in Aroona Dam and Beetaloo Reservoir will be announced later this year.
For more information about the Reservoir Fishing Access Project, click here.