The Lake Keepit Family Fishing Club is calling for helping hands to clean up the dam on Saturday.
With the dam at an all-time low, club president Anne Michie said “sticky beaks” have been flocking to the park and leaving litter in their wake. And the club has had enough.
It will hold a clean-up day and barbecue on Saturday in a bid to restore the grounds after the annual carp muster was cancelled because of the historically low water levels.
Fishing club president Anne Michie said those willing to help would get free entry for the day, with a start time of 8.30am at the club house, and a barbecue at 12pm.
“The members got together last weekend and decided they were sick of the mess,” she said.
NSW DPI fishery manager Tony Townsend will head along on the day to chat to the club about what they can do while the dam can’t be fished.
“He specialises in habitat [and] we’re going to look at some projects going forward; things we can do when there is water in the dam,” Ms Michie said.
I’m lucky they are such a wonderful group of people. It is like a little family, and we’re all looking out for each other.Anne Michie, Lake Keepit Family Fishing Club
The president said they would look at creating more structure in the dam “so when it does fill up, there will be more homes for the fish”, which in turn makes it a better place to go fishing.
“No one’s seen it at this sort of level. Back in 1994, it was down to one per cent but you could still fish,” she said.
“We’re turning a negative into a positive.”
While the club is trying to keep positive amid the drought, Ms Michie said the cancellation of the carp muster was a “big loss” to the club.
“It was a really social event and it’s something we’re going to miss,” she said.
“It’s something we need in times like these … plus it was one of our major fundraisers for the year. And we’re just a little club.”
Ms Michie said 400 people registered for the muster last year, catching more than 2000 carp, weighing in at 3.8 tonne.
“It’s a huge event and it was always great fun,” she said.
“So many people have been so sad [it can’t go ahead]. Personally, to me it has been quite a blow because I put quite a lot of work into it … It’s like you’ve lost a limb.
Despite a difficult year for the club, the members are sticking together.
“We’ll make it through. We're made of tough stuff,” Ms Michie said.
“I’m lucky they are such a wonderful group of people. It is like a little family, and we’re all looking out for each other.
“I live in Tamworth so it’s only a half hour out to the dam for me and I can switch off from work and all my worries at home, relax … and have a good laugh with good friends.”