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Special Interest > Habitat and Conservation
Fish to scale new heights with a ladder
Cardinia Creek fish to scale new heights with 'ladder' Wednesday 1 April 2015
The fish of Cardinia Creek now have their own specially built ‘ladder’ to climb, thanks to a $140,000 Melbourne Water project to improve the health of the river and its fish.
The fish ladder (also known as a fishway), was built in the creek downstream of Chasemore Road/ McCormack Road in Cardinia, and consists of a series of rock steps and pools that create a pathway for the fish to swim to upstream areas.
The pools in between each level of rocks allow the fish to rest at intervals. The project was a result of research that showed the installation of the structure would greatly help the river’s fish species and their breeding cycles.
The new fishway, which was built to enhance an existing structure, is designed to increase the amount of time fish can migrate by increasing the water levels, creating clearer channels for fish and building resting areas.
Fish species commonly found in Cardinia Creek include the endangered Australian grayling, short finned eel and Climbing, Common and Spotted galaxias.
The project involved large excavators moving each rock into place individually until the desired gradient was achieved.
Melbourne Water Waterways Manager (South East region) Greg Bain, said the fish ladders were critical to removing barriers to fish migration between the river and the ocean.
“The Cardinia Creek is home to many native fish species, including the endangered Australian grayling,” said Mr Bain.
“Grayling particularly rely on migration between the river and the sea to spawn, so things like fish ladders, which allow fish to travel upstream more easily, are pivotal to the survival of the species.”
Now that construction is finished, Melbourne Water will continue to manage vegetation to rehabilitate the river bank and replant vegetation in the areas that have been affected by the work.
Mr Bain said the ladder would have long-term benefits for fish populations along the entire length of the waterway.
“A variety of fish species will now thrive into the future as a result of improved range of habitat, better stream flows and water quality,” said Mr Bain. Sorry, only registered users can see this content. Please Login or Register.