By EMMA CORNFORD
THE DEPARTMENT of primary industries (DPI) has spent more than $230,000 of fishing licence fee revenue on fisheries projects in the Clarence Valley in the past year, but local anglers claim the funds have been misspent.
And while anglers say there should be more recreational fishing areas, the department has said it is not going to happen.
According to the DPI, the major expenditure has been $120,000 over two years on the Clarence pilot habitat program to improve the aquatic environment and improve conditions for recreational anglers.
But Daily Examiner and ABC fishing correspondent Dick Richards said the expenditure had done nothing to improve fishing.
"The recreational fishing haven at the Oyster Channel bridge, for one, is only 100 yards long and has done nothing to improve fishing there ? it's crazy," Mr Richards said.
"The whole idea of licences was to put the fees into a special trust ... and some of that was to be used to buy out commercial fishermen to help improve fish stocks, but there's only been a couple of buyouts in the Clarence and it's done nothing."
A DPI spokesman said there would be no more recreational fishing havens created in the State.
"We're happy to look at voluntary buyouts of commercial fishing where there is agreement between recreational and commercial sec- tors," the spokesman said.