THROWING a line in at Suma Park reservoir has been a long-held ambition for Orange's fishers and Cr Steve Peterson is putting it back in the spotlight.
Cr Peterson will ask council staff to look into the feasibility and impacts of fishing at Suma Park at Tuesday's Orange City Council meeting, with the construction of a jetty.
"There's an existing Recreational Fishing and Camping facilities program in the federal election, there's been a promise from one of the parties to the extend this, to upgrade 100 fishing and camping facilities," Cr Peterson said.
"These grants exist, let's make sure we have the opportunity and investigate it."
Cr Peterson said he was aware of the concerns regarding the impact of water quality at Suma Park, which is Orange's principal drinking water supply.
"Cattle are in the creek that leads into it so let's not be too precious about Suma Park, there are dead trees in it and the like," he said.
Former president Rodney Tonkin said the Orange Trout Acclimatisation Society had hoped to fish in Suma Park for "a number of years now'.
He said OTAS members were limited in the number of venues available for fishing and Suma Park would widen that choice.
"It would have to be well organised, access would have to be made available and it would have to be well controlled but given those circumstances it's quite a feasible proposition," he said.
Mr Tonkin, who is a past president of NSW Council of Freshwater Anglers and OTAS added there was a precedent for opening up Suma Park to fishers.
"The water supply from Canberra is from a dam that has fishing access permitted," he said. "So relatively speaking, with the water purification that goes on these days, it is a relatively safe venue so long as its properly organised.
"Such that it wouldn't be in close proximity to the off take, but well back from there [in the backwaters], if it was to be permitted."
Australian Drinking Water Guidelines state the protection of water sources and treatment are of paramount importance and must never be compromised, according the the council staff report accompanying Cr Peterson's motion and he acknowledge the concerns.
The report says opening up the reservoir to public access may involve upgrades to the drinking water purification process.
"Maybe Suma Park Dam is a no go but it will be something to consider," Cr Peterson said.
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