Rita Island rock ramp fishway
A rock ramp fishway was constructed in 2009 to enhance migration of native fish within the lower Burdekin River. This helps small fish such as mullet to migrate upstream while still allowing the water in the river to be used by locals.
The Rita Island sand dam was identified as a significant barrier to fish movement during certain times of the year.
The new fishway is made up of a series of rock bars - much like a set of underwater stairs - which allow fish to gradually move upstream or downstream from one pool of water to another, enabling them to rest in between, before eventually returning to their natural breeding grounds.
The fishway allows fish to migrate across all flows, and has led to an increase in the level of stocks including barramundi and mangrove jack.
The project is aimed our ensuring wetlands are functioning at sustainable levels and fish stocks will be there for
James Cook University fishway
Thirty years ago a road was built across the creek that runs through James Cook University in Townsville, forming a barrier to upstream migration for 13 native fish species to feed and breed during seasonal flows.
A trial fishway was constructed six years ago to help fish pass through the barrier.
In August 2011, it was replaced with a better and permanent $40,000 fishway due to the joint efforts of NQ Dry Tropics, James Cook University and construction companies Abigroup and Seymour Whyte.
Prior to the trial fishway being built, native species experienced a severe decline in numbers and distribution because their movement had been blocked.
The trial fishway built in 2005 resulted in a large range of native species being found in the upper reaches of the
creek for the first time in 25 years.
Eels on Wheels
A wheely-bin, Astro turf, and a miniature half pipe could be the secret to salvation of Townsville’s eel population.
NQ Dry Tropics is thinking outside the box when it comes to developing fish passage devices which help native fish to bypass dams and weirs.
The eel passage device, or the Green Mile as it would appear to fish, is intended to help baby eels return home from the ocean where they were born.
The eel trap, made from a wheely-bin, is ‘scented’ with the smell of other eels to encourage them to enter. The contraption is based on work by a New Zealand eel migration specialist who visited Townsville to look at the problem of eel migration.
Fishways in the Bowen-Broken region
Two fishways were built in the Hazelwood and Exe Creeks in the Bowen-Broken region in 2010 to help fish such as rainbow fish, catfish and spangled perch to migrate.
The fishways were constructed on two road crossings where, at certain times of the year, the fish were having difficulty making their way through the system.
These projects will complement work being undertaken by SunWater to construct a fish way on the Bowen River weir near Collinsville, which will help fish to move more freely through hundreds of kilometres of watercourses.