The East Gippsland Catchment Management Authority (EGCMA) is working with East Gippsland Water to construct a rock ramp fishway in the Buchan River between Lousadas Road bridge and the Buchan water supply log weir.
The rock ramp fishway will address the barrier to fish migration caused by the weir which prevents native fish from migrating upstream.
Recent monitoring provided a snapshot of native fish populations close to the log weir and the proposed fishway. There were seven species of native fish detected from sites up and downstream of the weir.
Species identified included Longfin eel, Australian bass, Congoli, Common galaxias, Flat-headed gudgeon, Australian smelt and Southern pygmy perch. Finding Southern pygmy perch in the Buchan River is significant because they are listed as a threatened species.
The results from the monitoring confirmed there were fewer fish species upstream of the log weir compared to downstream, providing further evidence that the log weir is a barrier to native fish migration.
Further fish monitoring will be undertaken following the completion of the fishway.
Construction of the fishway will involve placing a range of rocks within the river in accordance with a specialised design, that will allow fish to swim up and over the weir. The weir, which helps provide for Buchan’s potable water supply, will not be disturbed as the rock fishway will be constructed below the weir.
Site preparation and construction have commenced and should be complete before Easter. The work will be dependent on Buchan River flows.
A section of land adjacent to Lousadas Road will be closed, and access to this site will be restricted. There will not be any access restrictions to Lousadas Road during construction. This project is funded as part of the Victorian Government’s $248 million investment into improving the health of waterways and catchments in regional Victoria.