Big Fish Hotels are hot property in Warrnambool

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The ‘Big Fish Hotel Project' has received a massive boost thanks to the kind donations of two local businesses.

Reeves Bakery and Adz Weld Fabrications, both based in Warrnambool, each donated $1000 to the crowdfunding campaign.

The Big Fish Hotel Project is part of the Funds for Fish crowdfunding campaign launched February 13.

All funds raised will be matched by Glenelg Hopkins CMA through the Victorian Government's Regional Riparian Action Plan and other government initiatives to improve the health of regional waterways.

The project is seeking support from the Warrnambool community, anglers, and local businesses, and aims to bring Estuary Perch back to the Merri River in big numbers.

Estuary Perch offer one of the best fishing experiences in south west Victoria. Catching this fish is exciting and rewarding but currently the Merri River has limited habitat for this native fish.

The funds raised will be used to place a range of new fish ‘hotel' habitats and improve river bank access for anglers and the community", says Mr Adam Bester. "Fish habitats include logs, rocks, native trees and good water quality, which are really important to help fish survive, grow and breed", says Mr Bester.

Adam Bester, spokesperson for Funds for Fish says "It is great to see the community getting behind this project. We are now over a quarter of the way to reach the $12,000. Our aim with the project was to give the community the opportunity to directly invest in a positive transformation of their local river."

"With these fantastic donations from Reeves Bakery and Adz Weld Fabrications, both businesses receive naming rights and plaques for the first two fish hotels that will be installed in the Merri River under this project" said Mr Bester.

Darryl Laing, manager of Reeves Bakery was happy to pledge to this local cause. "Reeves Bakery is proud to support this great initiative for the local fisherman and Glenelg Hopkins CMA in their continued support for environment and local fish stocks" says Darryl.

Adz Weld, a local manufacturing company, were equally happy to be involved - "Adz Weld are thrilled to be associated with the manufacture and implementation of this local fish habitat initiative! Everyone get on board and support the future of local fishing" says principal Adam Wright.

Support has also been received from other members of the community, particularly anglers. "We had 91 anglers from the Ship Wreck Coast Fishing Classic who directly provided funding to the project. Thanks to this support, we are on our way to raising enough money to build fish hotels for Estuary Perch" said Dr Bester.

Community support will be fundamental to the project's success. The CMA hopes anglers, local farmers, conservation groups, schools, businesses and community will become involved - either by purchasing a ‘perk' or making a pledge through the crowdfunding campaign.

The range of perks available for purchase include fishing licences, books, magazines, fishing accessories and experiences. Larger pledges also have the option of being promoted in local media and on the Funds for Fish website.

All donations are fully tax deductible through the Australian River Restoration Centre.

To find out more on the project, check out the Big Fish Hotel Project on