Fishway and habitat restoration project awarded

A series of fish passage and restoration projects along the NSW coast has resulted in an award for the Industry & Investment NSW Fisheries Conservation Action Unit.

In announcing the recipients of the 2010 Banksia Foundation Water Award, NSW Primary Industries Minister Steve Whan said the Bringing Back the Fish project was a major three-year initiative that addressed fish passage issues along the coast of NSW.

“Bringing Back the Fish is the largest fish passage program of its kind in Australia and involved more than $9 million for in-stream works to make the State’s rivers more fish friendly,” Whan said.

The state-wide project has resulted in the opening up of over 1,200kms of habitat for migrating fish through rehabilitating nearly 100 sites.

Results of the Bringing Back the Fish project:

· 86 poorly-designed weirs, road crossings or floodgates were fixed.
· 1,235 kilometres of additional waterway in coastal NSW was opened up for fish to access.
· Nearly 2,000 hectares of aquatic habitat across eight sites was improved.
· Innovative techniques including installation of seagrass friendly boat moorings, riverbank stabilisation works, and improved floodgate management were used.

Examples of works completed as part of the project included:

· The removal of Manyweathers Weir at Casino. This is the highest priority barrier in the Richmond catchment and the work improved fish access to nearly 300 kilometres of upstream habitat (Northern Rivers CMA).
· A partial rock-ramp was inserted at Locketts Crossing on the Coolongolook River and Clarksons Crossing was removed on the Wallamba River. Fish now have improved access to more than 65 kilometres of upstream habitat in the two rivers (Hunter-Central Rivers CMA).
· Establishment of 34 seagrass friendly moorings within Pittwater providing more than one hectare of additional seagrass for juvenile fish (Hawkesbury-Nepean CMA).
· Improving the fishway at Lane Cove weir. The improvements allowed fish to access nearly 49 kilometres of upstream habitat (Sydney Metropolitan CMA).
· Restoration of fish passage within the Mongarlowe River providing access to 43 kilometres of habitat for the threatened Macquarie Perch (Southern Rivers CMA).

Below – Clarksons Crossing on the Wallamba River (before & after).

inline_455_ crossing before 5501.jpginline_147_ crossing after 5501.jpg

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