RAIN couldn't have come at a better time for the native fish that call the Peel River home, according to a local river advocate.
OzFish Northwest co-ordinator Anne Michie said the recent deluge of rain has brought water back to the system right in time for native fish to breed in spring.
"Hopefully, for the first time in years, there will be a natural recruitment of cod and yellow belly," she said.
"With a season like we're heading into now there should be an abundance of food and the chance to migrate to different reaches in the Peel and Namoi, which means a better chance fish will breed and more babies will survive and fingerlings will reach maturity."
Ms Michie said the previous few years have not been good for native fish trying to breed in the Peel River system because of the big dry, and there have been only small numbers of new fish.
She said most of the water is coming in through tributaries so the whole system is "wet" and should be supported by good flows for longer.
"We always knew it would rain but when you're in the depths of drought and surrounded by dust and smoke and dry rivers, it's hard to remember rivers can look like this," she said.
"It really keeps the passion there driving us to say we do need the river and it is a vital link."
It's not just the native fish like cod and yellow belly that are thriving in deeper water.
Ms Michie said the Peel River is packed with wildlife - even if you can't see it.
"That's the thing a lot of people don't realise, that the Peel supports a large population of platypus, but not a lot of people see them because they're a shy little creature," she said.
"This water is great for all the creatures that rely on it."
Ms Michie said the anglers are "excited" and will keep an eye on the river to see how the breeding season ends up tracking.