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*New South Wales Fisheries, Locked Bag 9, Pyrmont, NSW 2009.

The ecology of the western rivers in New South Wales is inextricably linked with vast flood plains and the variable flow regimes characterized by droughts or floods. The freshwater fish fauna are adapted to this severe riverine environment. Human modifications to the waterways and their catchments have degraded these ecosystems and the fish fauna have been adversely affected by human-induced changes. The conflicts arising from the competing human uses for the western rivers and flood plains need to be resolved through more effective planning of this scarce natural resource. Restoration is now essential to conserve fish fauna and must include increasing the water entitlement for the original users — the fish.

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