Fin-tastic end to 2024 Ipswich WaterFest

An enormous haul of water-based activities has encouraged hundreds of Ipswich residents to find new appreciation for Ipswich’s valuable creeks and rivers.

Ipswich Mayor Teresa Harding said there had been something for everyone during the 2024 Ipswich WaterFest.

“About 150 adults and children enjoyed exploring the award-winning Small Creek during the school holidays, while dozens of people learned to fish at Joseph Brady Park,” Mayor Harding said.

“The WaterFest Celebration Day attracted about 300 people to the Queens Park Environmental Education Centre to discover fascinating species and projects such as platypus, endangered cod and more.”

Mayor Harding said a highlight of WaterFest had been the Catch, Snap and Win fishing competition with partner 2 Bent Rods.

“It was exciting to see 343 people register for the competition, and for more than 650 fish to be caught in Ipswich waterways over the 18 days of the competition. The winner for most fish overall caught 100 fish, which is impressive,” Mayor Harding said.

“Our child and youth entrants were also exceptional, with the child winner catching 51 fish and the youth winner scoring 26 fish. The longest native fish caught was an eel-tailed catfish, while a special mention also went to an angler who caught the most unusual fish – a spotted scat.”

Mayor Harding said education was an important element to WaterFest, with the event raising awareness of waterway health, important species, and the role we all play in a healthy environment.

“When we engage with our creeks and rivers, we realise how important healthy waterways are to our city and our lifestyles,” Mayor Harding said.

“About half the fish caught in the Catch, Snap and Win fishing competition were pest species, and it’s important we learn to identify and responsibly destroy these pests that damage our environment.”

Mayor Harding said the focus on waterway health would continue in 2024, with Trees For Mum community habitat planting on Bundamba Creek on 12 May, and the regional Peaks to Points Festival celebrating river catchment health from 20 July to 4 August.

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