Looking after native fish


native fishConstruction of a fishway will help ensure the future of native fish populations in the Gunbower Creek.

Construction of a fishway on the Gunbower Creek is helping to ensure the future for many of
our native fish species.
Working in partnership with GMW, The North Central Catchment Management Authority is constructing the fishway between Cohuna and Gunbower, at Thompsons Weir.
 It will open up 55 kilometres of unimpeded passage for  fish and will help improve the gene pool of the many species that inhabit the waterway.
NCCMA Gunbower Forest project manager Melanie Tranter said barriers to fish movement were one of the main issues for native fish populations in the creek.
"Our monitoring shows we have a good diversity of fish species, but overall fish numbers are lower than expected in Gunbower Creek." Ms Tranter said.
"This is surprising given the good habitat the creek provides."
Fish species including Murray Cod, Silver Perch, Boney Bream and lesser known species such as the Flyspecked Hardyhead will all benefit from the fishway, which is designed to operate under different water flow rates.
Ms Tranter said under the NCCMA Waterway action plan, one of the major issues for native fish populations was the absence of genetic diversity.
"The fishway will help with breeding and increase the genetic pool. Bigger fish are reliant on the creek for breeding, while the smaller species can breed in the wetlands and the forest."
The NCCMA is also hoping to construct similar passages for fish upstream at the National Channel uptake and downstream at the Koondrook Weir.
"Some of the best fish habitat can be found on the Gunbower Creek, its just not realising its potential -we need to fix up a couple of areas for fish passage.
Ms Tranter said this area is recognised as an internationally significant site with the Gunbower Creek being one of the main building blocks.
"The Living Murray project is doing some great work, we need to get the creek as healthy as we can because it is the basis of the whole food cycle," she said.


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