300 SAVED: Cooper Harm, helps out his uncle Jason s drought dries out the region’s creeks.
300 SAVED: Cooper Harm, helps out his uncle Jason s drought dries out the region’s creeks.

Family saves fish by hand from drought-ravaged creeks

WHEN Allora's creeks dried up in 1994, it was up to Jason Willett to protect fish in his own backyard.

Now 25 years later, he and his nephew, Cooper Harm, are back at it again.

As the drought gets progressively worse, the keen fisherman has been relocating fish from Darymple Creek into the Condamine River.

Mr Willet started by moving the native fish into bigger waterholes in the region, but said now it is too dry for that.

"I think this one is definitely a lot worse than 1994," he said.

"Some of those holes that I've used in that drought have gone dry this time round."

"There's even holes in the Condamine that are starting to dry up and they're fairly deep holes."

Between him and 13-year-old Cooper, he believes they've saved up to 300 fish from death and rescued more from invasive carp.

"Just the other day, there was one little hole in Allora with 20cm of water and there were half a dozen catfish in there," Mr Willet said.

"On another day, they would have been dead."

Mr Willet, who even returned fish to their habitat when fishing, said he did it for his love of the creature, and denied claims relocation did more harm than good.

"The whole thing is the ones who are saying that aren't going to help, so are they going to let the fish die?" he said.

"I noticed in NSW, the fisheries stepped in and are taking the Murray cod back to breeding centres but they're just doing what we're doing on a bigger scale, except they left it 15 months' late."

"It's a small thing, but we're trying to save them."


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