Header image credit: Phil Spark

Help us save aquatic wildlife

When the upper Manning River and its tributaries ran dry in the 2019 drought, precious aquatic wildlife species were restricted to refuge pools.

Can you help us monitor and restore refuge pools to conserve aquatic species and improve their resilience to a changing climate?

Restoring refuge areas will be critical to the survival of the endangered Manning River Helmeted Turtle, which is found only in the middle and upper reaches of the Manning River catchment.

MidCoast Council is working with our partners and the community to monitor, protect and restore a network of refuge pools, associated riverbank habitat and connected waterways in the Nowendoc River, Barnard River and Dingo Creek catchments.


Watch our video below

Get involved

Interested in participating in the River Revival project? Click on the relevant box below to find out more information about how you can get involved as either a local landholder or community volunteer.

To find out more and register your interest in participating, contact our Catchment Officer Alisha Madsen.

Name Alisha Madsen, Catchment Officer
Phone 0436 298 486
Email ourmanningriver@midcoast.nsw.gov.au

Mapping and protecting turtle nests

Can you help us find, report and protect turtle nests in the Nowendoc, Barnard and Dingo catchments from November to December 2021?

See the River Revival fact sheet on this page to learn more about the Manning River Helmeted Turtle, how to identify them during the upcoming nesting season and how to report a sighting.


Aquatic fauna in the Manning

River refuge pools are home to the Manning River Helmeted Turtle, known as the most beautiful turtle in Australia – we certainly think so anyway! Platypus, frogs, freshwater fish and rare spiny crayfish also live in these pools and need healthy riverbank vegetation to thrive.

  • Manning River Helmeted Turtles

    Manning River Helmeted Turtles are found only in the mid and upper reaches of the Manning River and its tributaries. They mainly feed during the daytime on large insects, fruit and water plants, helping to control aquatic vegetation and keep streams healthy. Clutches of eggs are laid after the first rains in spring. As a short-necked turtle which cannot retract its neck into its shell, the Manning River Helmeted Turtle has limited ability to migrate overland and persist in drought.

  • Platypus

    The platypus is a semi-aquatic species found only in Eastern Australia. It feeds exclusively in pools, dining on small insects such as water bugs and caddisflies. A feeding session may last up to 24 hours and involve 1,600 dives. Platypus prefers areas with steep banks that contain roots, overhanging vegetation, reeds and logs. They sleep in burrows 3-6 m long and block the entrance with pugs of compacted soil. Recent studies indicate platypus habitat has shrunk by 22% in the last 30 years.

  • The Australian Bass

    The Australian Bass is a native fish that spends most of its time in fresh water, but migrates downstream each winter to breed in the saltwater lower reaches of rivers and streams. They are carnivorous, feeding on insects, larvae, shrimps and yabbies. Bass are prized by anglers and many fishers practice catch and release to help conserve the species.

  • Spiny crayfish

    Spiny Crayfish generally prefer cool, clear, flowing water. All species rely on streams for their survival and will be found in or in close proximity to rivers or creeks. They have a set of spines along the bottom of the claws, making recognition relatively easy. Spiny crayfish play an important role in aquatic food webs and are considered a keystone species. They are major processors of organic matter acting as shredders, predators, collectors and grazers.

Outcomes we are aiming for

Below are some outcomes we are seeking to achieve in the River Revival project.
  • Protect and restore 100 ha of riparian land

  • Manage and monitor 7km of waterways

  • Deliver pest animal control at priority sites

  • Involve 15 landholders in river restoration

  • Hold 6 community events

  • Manage 2 in-stream habitat trials

  • Trial use of eDNA


Stay updated

The River Revival project is part of the Manning River catchment and Estuary Program. To find out about what’s happening in your area subscribe to the Our Manning River newsletter here.

Return to the Our Manning River Project Hub