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Hatchery Plans Mount Isa Fish Stocking Group

AUSTRALIA - Local anglers should be able to reel in barramundi more often in years to come with the announcement of Mount Isa Fish Stocking Group's A$45,000 hatchery.

The project will enable the group to ensure local fisheries and Lake Moondarra and Lake Julius are well stocked with sooty grunter and barramundi, reports TheNorthWestStar.

The hatchery is expected to include a hands-on, interactive tourism attraction which will also provide an educational facility on fish life, aquaculture and lake sustainability.

"It will greatly benefit tourism in Mount Isa as part of the Outback at Isa display and hopefully over the years the project will be able to become self funded," said Mount Isa Fish Stocking Group secretary, George Fortune.

The project is the newest venture from Xstrata Mount Isa Mines Copper's A$235,000, two-year partnership with the group.

Operations general manager Mike Westerman said the project would be self sustaining from the time it gets off the ground.

"It is definitely an important project we are helping to fund alongside our partnership with the Fish Stocking Group," Mr Westerman said. "I can't wait to see the finished project now."

Last year Xstrata said its two-year partnership with the fishing stocking group will include "investment in industry diversification for the community (aquaculture) and has strong linkages to some of our existing partners and local schools".

The project is expected to be complete in 12 months Arline Street behind Outback at Isa.

Lucy Towers

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