Fishways are essential in improving connectivity and building a more sustainable and healthy native fish population.
Fish migration is essential, particularly for important diadromous (migratory) species such as; barramundi, mangrove jack, giant herring, tarpon, jungle perch and Australian bass. All these fish species breed in estuarine or marine environments, before their off-spring migrate into freshwater rivers and wetlands to feed, grow and evade predators.
Often, there are barriers to fish attempting to migrate and this can significantly impact our native fish population. For example, any barrier restricting or preventing barramundi from reaching important nursery grounds is going to have an impact on barramundi numbers into the future.
If the barrier cannot be removed, to overcome this an appropriately designed fish ladder (fishway) is the best rehabilitation strategy.
Here, we look at a fishway in photos to help showcase the elements involved.
The fishway at the lower end of the Gooseponds in Mackay was built in 2000 and has helped support fish passage for important species for many years. Over the last decade there have been many improvements in fishway design that increase functionality and service life, and make them more aesthetically pleasing. When funding became available to do some repair work to this fishway, new design elements were built in. As you can see the results speak for themselves.
Funding was provided by Reef Catchments in partnership with Mackay Regional Council. Design and on-ground works were undertaken by Catchment Solutions.
Read more about fish ladders here: https://www.catchmentsolutions.com.au/fisheries-aquatic-ecosystems/