Fisheries & Aquatic Ecosystems

The Fisheries and Aquatic Ecosystems team at Catchment Solutions is internationally renowned and respected, having literally written the book on fish management in Queensland and elsewhere. Catchment Solutions was fortunate to secure the staff and expertise once offered by the Queensland Government and now offers its clients a tailored version of the services once delivered by government.


Products and Services

Our clients benefit from industry leading knowledge and decades of experience. Partnering with the Fisheries and Aquatic Ecosystems team at Catchment Solutions also offers you access to a vast network of stakeholders across industry, government, research institutions, and community and resource management groups. Combining these benefits with innovative solutions to a wide variety of aquatic issues, and insights based on countless completed projects guarantees you the best possible prospects for success.

Select which service you would like to read about:

Suitably Qualified Fish Passage Biologists for Waterway Barrier Works

In order to maintain suitable aquatic connectivity, legislation exists which stipulates operational works associated with the construction or modification of instream infrastructures must either meet the Accepted Development requirement for operational work that is construction or raising of waterway barrier work (self-assessable code) or alternatively, be assessed against the State Development Assessment Provisions (SDAP) code for construction or raising waterway barrier works. Catchment Solutions qualified and experienced fish passage biologists possess extensive experience in waterway barrier works development approval facilitation, fishway design, construction supervision, fish passage monitoring and evaluation.
Read more here

Fish community sampling and Electrofishing Surveys

Know what’s beneath the surface with state-of-the-art techniques using boats, electrofishing and DNA sampling. The team specialises in baseline fish community monitoring and pre and post waterway rehabilitation electrofishing. All these services are undertaken by senior electrofishing officers. .


  • Large electrofishing boat (4.5 m) 7.55 GPP Smith-Root
  • Small electrofishing boat (3.8) 2.5 GPP Smith-Root
  • Backpack electrofisher LR24 Smith-Root
  • Netting – fyke nets, seine nets, gill nets and box traps
  • Environmental DNA sampling

Fishway design and construction

The Catchment Solutions team offers unparalleled research, analysis, assessment, innovative design and implementation of fishways across northern and central Australia, specialising in nature-like rock ramp and concrete cone fishways


  • Concept and detailed fishway design
  • Fishway options assessment
  • Approved facilitation
  • Organisation
  • Construction supervision
  • WH&S

Fishway monitoring and evaluation

The Catchment Solutions team specialises in monitoring and evaluating the effectiveness of fishways at passing the full suite of fish species and size classes.


  • Fishway sampling
  • Paired fishway monitoring (top and bottom sampling)
  • Flow condition assessments (flow velocity and discharge)

Fish barrier prioritisation – GIS analysis

Mapping and detailed GIS based fish barrier prioritisation allows you to take charge of priorities when it comes to directing resources, maximising aquatic ecosystem productivity, and tailoring investment plans for fish barriers and passageways.

The team has a wealth of experience in barrier prioritisation having priority ranked barriers to fish passage in the southern Gulf of Carpentaria, Mackay Whitsundays, Fitzroy Basin, Greater Brisbane Urban Area, and the greater Mekong Basin (Laos).

The prioritisation process uses GIS coupled with the latest river network analysis technology to rapidly assess thousands of potential barriers. Barriers are then ranked into a priority list, representing the areas where the greatest return can be achieved with the least expenditure.


  • Identify all potential barriers within the project area using the latest aerial and satellite imagery.
  • Using the latest GIS based river network analysis tools, priority rank the thousands of potential barriers into a manageable list for field validation and scoring. Scoring based on catchment scale characteristics.
  • On-ground assessment of the top ranked barriers. Scoring based on actual fish barrier characteristics.
  • Further scoring and refinement based on biological, social, and economic factors.
  • Produce a final priority ranked fish barrier list showing remediation options and costings.

Wetland and fish habitat rehabilitation

The team specialises in designing and constructing treatment train wetlands with an holistic focus on improving water quality and biodiversity. This is achieved by incorporating multiple water quality treatment chambers (sediment basin and deep water macrophyte zones), prior to discharging into constructed wetlands designed for biodiversity (refuge zones, large woody debris, and improved connectivity (fishway) between the wetland and downstream habitats).

The team has undertaken a wide variety of creek rehabilitation projects with a focus on achieving multiple in-stream habitat objectives to suit client needs. Stream habitat improvements include bed control structures (‘A’ rock cross vane structures), fish habitat rehabilitation (log hotels, log jams, large woody debris), erosion control, and revegetation projects.

  • Treatment train wetland design and construction (multiple wetland chambers, sediment basin, deep marsh zones, biodiversity wetland)
  • Rock cross vane structures that provide fish passage, bed control, re-oxygenation, and habitat
  • Wetland fish habitat design (refuge pool, woody habitat and connectivity (fishway)
  • Log hotels, rock riffle reoxygenation, and fishway connectivity
  • large woody debris (LWD)

Fisheries development planning

  • Waterway barrier works for the construction of dams and weirs, construction and maintenance of culverts, bed level crossings etc.
  • Determining waterways for waterway barrier works
  • Marine plant disturbance and marine plant management strategies
  • Maintenance of structures

Offset planning and impact assessment

Whether you are developing, assessing or recovering from an event, the Catchment Solutions team has the expertise, knowledge and networks to provide you with impact assessment, management, and approvals and decision-making processes.

Our team has developed government offset policies and implemented fish passage and habitat remediation works for offset programs. We understand the elements of an offset proposal that will satisfy any regulatory requirement and we can tailor offset plans to meet objectives.