The Corangamite Catchment Management Authority (CCMA), has had an active fish passage reinstatement program for many years, as part of the Victorian Government’s Great Ocean Road Estuaries Restoration Project.
The Corangamite Fishway Program involved detailed planning, design, and construction, as well as fishway performance monitoring.
Fish passage prioritisation, planning and works focussed providing connectivity for small bodied native fish species of the coastal streams of the Otway Coast and Barwon River Basins. Many of the fish species targeted were migratory and listed as threatened including the Australian Grayling and Yarra Pygmy Perch. Types of fishway works have included the construction of various rock ramp fishways, different forms of barrier removal and the construction of precast vertical slot and cone fishways. Construction methods used by the CCMA have resulted in low cost and effective fishways via the use of suitable local materials and contractors and minimising construction times by completing as much pre-work as possible off site.
Performance monitoring of fishways has included formal fish surveys pre and post works, videography and measuring fishway hydraulics. Recent performance monitoring of fishways has seen the return of some threatened species to river systems that had not previous been recorded since the 1980’s.
Future planned works include the continued delivery of the Otway Coast and Barwon Basin Fish Passage Plans, as well as large scale works associated with restoring connectivity and improving water regulation at the Lower Barwon River Wetlands Ramsar sites.