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The teenage boy saving fish from drought by hand

Date: 10-Dec-19
Author: Liam Taylor

Drought conditions across New South Wales are causing rivers to dry up, especially in the state's north.

Drought conditions across New South Wales are causing rivers to dry up, especially in the state's north.

A 13-year-old boy from the drought-stricken town of Tenterfield in New South Wales’ far north is going above and beyond by saving native fish by hand.

Stuart Moodie was so worried about the health of native cod and catfish in the drying watering holes of his farm that he took matters into his own hands, literally. The teenager has now rescued more than 100 native fish on the Mole River by catching them in muddy waters by hand and relocating them to less drought-affected areas of the river.

"I've been going down early every day after school and catching the catfish and cod and taking them out and putting them in a dam, keeping them alive as much as I can," Moodie told ABC News.

Moodie was taught the hand-fishing technique by a neighbour and has spent time refining his technique since. It’s served him well in not only saving the native species of fish in the river, but also in removing invasive pest species such as carp. Thus far, Moodie has caught and killed over 300. 

His work in the river has been celebrated by local residents and councillors, with scientists and academics praising his intelligence in returning the animals to the same river system. By doing so, Moodie is helping to ensure the breeding stock will be able to recover once rain returns to the region.


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Liam                                              Taylor
Author: Liam Taylor

Prior to joining Planet Ark Liam spent his time studying global environmental issues, travelling Southeast Asia on the cheap and working for a sustainable property management company in Bali, Indonesia. Joining the communications team at Planet Ark, he hopes to inspire positive environmental behaviour through effective and positive messaging.

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