The teenage boy saving fish from drought by hand - National Tree Day Blog

The teenage boy saving fish from drought by hand

A 13-year-old boy from the drought-stricken town of Tenterfield in New South Wales’ far north is going above and beyond by saving native fish by hand.

Stuart Moodie was so worried about the health of native cod and catfish in the drying watering holes of his farm that he took matters into his own hands, literally. The teenager has now rescued more than 100 native fish on the Mole River by catching them in muddy waters by hand and relocating them to less drought-affected areas of the river.

"I've been going down early every day after school and catching the catfish and cod and taking them out and putting them in a dam, keeping them alive as much as I can," Moodie told ABC News.

Moodie was taught the hand-fishing technique by a neighbour and has spent time refining his technique since. It’s served him well in not only saving the native species of fish in the river, but also in removing invasive pest species such as carp. Thus far, Moodie has caught and killed over 300. 

His work in the river has been celebrated by local residents and councillors, with scientists and academics praising his intelligence in returning the animals to the same river system. By doing so, Moodie is helping to ensure the breeding stock will be able to recover once rain returns to the region.


Positive Action

  • With drought conditions affecting much of the country, it’s more important than ever to be wise with our water use. Check out our Water saving tips for advice, brought to you in collaboration with Smart Approved WaterMark.
  • If you want to do something to support Australia’s rural communities struggling with drought, why not make a donation to Buy a Bale and provide tangible resources to drought, flood or fire affected communities.


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Positive Environment News has been compiled using publicly available information. Planet Ark does not take responsibility for the accuracy of the original information and encourages readers to check the references before using this information for their own purposes.

Liam Taylor

Liam is Planet Ark's Communications Coordinator. Prior to joining Planet Ark Liam spent his time studying global environmental issues, travelling Southeast Asia on the cheap and working for a sustainable property management company in Bali, Indonesia.