Oral Presentation International Conference on River Connectivity (Fish Passage 2018)

Fish Friendly Stream Gauging Stations (#159)

Matthew J Jones 1 , Paul Wilson 1 , David McPhee 2
  1. Department of Environment, Land, Water, and Planning, Melbourne
  2. Department of Environment, Land, Water, and Planning, Tatura

Stream gauging data is essential for managing our water resources and for flood warning purposes.  Stream gauging stations vary in function and design, but most historic stream gauges present a hydraulic and/or physical barrier to fish, adversely impacting on movement.  The process of determining what should happen to a historic stream gauge from an ecological and managerial stand point is underpinned by a few key pieces of information including, species present, stream hydrology, location within the catchment, stream gauge technology present, stakeholder requirements, and presence of other instream barriers.  The Fish Friendly Stream Gauging Station Program is reviewing and prioritising stream gauging sites across Victoria to assess each for their relevance, integrity, functionality, and fish friendliness.  Larger structures located lower in the catchments, those most in need of repair, and those used for flood warning purposes are being prioritised for inspection and works (i.e. removal, replacement, fishway construction).  A total of 12 sites have been inspected as part of an initial scoping investigation and we discuss several of the outcomes including fishway construction, stream gauge control replacement, stream gauge control removal, and the use of modern gauging technology.  Outcomes for native fish and stakeholders of stream gauging stations will improve substantially if contemporary stream gauging methods and fishway designs are incorporated into Victoria’s stream gauging stations.