Evaluating migratory fish behaviour and fishway performance: testing a combined assessment methodology

Lee Baumgartner, Craig A. Boys, Ivor G. Stuart, Brenton P. Zampatti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


To provide passage for migratory native fish, a series of 14 vertical-slot and lock fishways are being constructed on the Murray River in south-eastern Australia. Three of these vertical-slot fishways, at Locks 7, 9 and 10, have a conservative slope (1V : 32H) and are designed with internal hydraulics suitable for the passage of a broad size range of fish (30'1000 mm long). An assessment of these fishways was performed using a combined trapping survey and passive integrated transponder (PIT) approach to determine fishway effectiveness at passing an entire fish community. Fish were trapped within the three fishways between 2004 and 2006, where a total of 13 626 individuals comprising 13 species were collected from 48 sample days (24 h each). Trapping data revealed that the three fishways successfully passed fish within the target size range, though significantly greater numbers of individuals smaller (10'29 mm long) than the target size range could not ascend. PIT tagging revealed important information on fishway ascent times, descent times, seasonality and diel behaviour of medium and large fish. Although each method alone had advantages and disadvantages, the dual assessment approach was useful as it permitted an assessment of fishway success and also provided insights into migratory fish behaviour.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)154-164
Number of pages11
JournalAustralian Journal of Zoology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2010

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