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Author Topic: High occupancy rates at fish hotels leads to new construction  (Read 3495 times)

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High occupancy rates at fish hotels leads to new construction
13-Feb-2015 - Condamine Alliance

A fish hotel being installed in the Dewfish Demonstration Reach, Condamine River, Dalby.

If you’re a native fish and live in the Condamine river near Dalby your chances of survival increased in late January with the installation of 40 new fish hotels and cod holes.

Fish hotels are considered 5 star accommodation for fish, providing somewhere to live, breed and feed.

“In the past we have relied on snags in the river to provide homes for our native fish, but with the increase in clearing over the years there are no longer enough large trees becoming snags”, said Kevin Graham, Manager – River, Condamine Alliance.

“Through the support of Arrow Energy and their partnership with the Dewfish Demonstration Reach we are ensuring the future of our native fish and our community.”

“It’s more than just providing homes for our fish,” said Mr Graham, “a healthy waterway means a healthy community.”

The fish hotels and cod holes have been placed onto private property in the eastern part of the Reach.

“Thanks to the ongoing support of Arrow Energy this is the second year we are installing fish hotels and cod holes into the Dewfish Demonstration Reach,” said Mr Graham.

“Last year’s hotels were installed across the Reach, including locations such as Myall Creek in Dalby and Bowenville Reserve.

“This year we have selected sites on private property to reduce the recreational fishing pressures on the structures and enable us to better monitor their effect on fish numbers.”

Recent monitoring carried out by Agri-Science Queensland, Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, confirmed that previous snags, hotels and cod holes installed are well used by native fish.

Fish numbers at these sites are high and their composition strongly mimics the natural snags already within the river.

The Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry have played an important role in designing the hotels and assisting with their placement.

The fish hotels have been constructed using untreated recycled railway sleepers by the YWCA in Toowoomba who have been working on this project through their Work for the Dole program, funded through Max Employment, giving skills and experience to those who have been long term unemployed.

“We are excited to be a part of this project as it allows our team to contribute to something meaningful for our environment and it will be a project they can follow into the future,” said John Tully, YWCA.

“The team has enjoyed learning more about the habitat of native fish and can’t wait to see the fish hotels get into the river.”

The structures are weighted with cement sleepers across the bottom with a total weight in excess of 2.5 tonnes, the hotels are designed to stay put in even the biggest of floods.

Along with the fish hotels, numerous cod holes will also be installed along the river, made out of donated cement culverts and barrels.

The culverts and barrels, donated by well known Dalby irrigator Paul McVeigh, will be lashed together to create complex structure within the river.

Placed approximately one meter under the water these structures are likely to become a popular spot for the iconic Murray Cod to breed.

Smaller fish will also be given special treatment with a number of small structures attached within the fish hotel to give them much needed safety from larger predators.
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