Fishway a success at Casey's Weir

Thursday 16 March, 2006

Native fish species in the Broken River are set to flourish following the installation of a fishway at Casey’s Weir.

Research has shown that native fish including Murray Cod and Golden Perch are using the fishway allowing them to continue their upstream journey.

Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority river health strategic manager Wayne Tennant said migrating upstream was a key component of a fish’s lifecycle.

Migration is essential for many native fish for breeding,” Mr Tennant said. “Movement allows native fish to return to their traditional breeding grounds.”

The Golden Perch has been known to travel more than 1000km to spawn.

Before the fishway was built, studies showed Casey’s Weir created a barrier for fish with large numbers of fish congregating below the structure.

“The fishway will ensure that native fish stocks survive and breed both upstream and downstream of the structure,” Mr Tennant said.

“The research shows that the fishway is performing and that native fish are able to move further into their natural migrational range.”

The fishway is an open concrete chute with a number of vertical slots placed at regular intervals. It is about 80m long, ranging in depth from 1.6m to 2.6m and comprising 23 cells.

Each of the fishway cells provides an area where native fish can rest between short bursts through the slots as they “climb” the ladder. They swim onwards and upwards into another pool and finally into the weir.

Casey’s Weir was built in 1884 to divert water for stock and domestic supply from Lake Nihlacootie, down the Broken River.

Arthur Rylah Institute carried out the recent research for the Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority. A fishtrap was inserted into the fishway which found several native species were using it successfully. More research will be carried out in the coming months.

The fishway was funded by the Victorian Government through the GBCMA. Goulburn-Murray Water undertook the construction works in conjunction with environmental consultants Sinclair Knight Merz.

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