The Goulburn Murray Water (GMW) Cohuna and Koondrook Fishways Project is making great progress with the in-waterway works completed before the irrigation season begins. The weir nearby stops fish from swimming upstream, so the works just completed will prevent this from happening, resulting in the Gunbower Creek enjoying an influx of native fish.
GMW, in partnership with the North Central Catchment Management Authority (CMA), will work on the project between March and October 2021. Works will include constructing two fishways along the Gunbower Creek, at Cohuna and Koondrook.
The new fishways will enable fish, including the famous Murray cod to move safely between the creek and the Murray River. The Recovery Plan aims to address flows, habitat and connectivity for native fish by creating a world class fishery. North Central CMA Project Manager, Peter Rose, said “Gunbower Creek is ideal habitat for perch and cod, and this work will add to the significant benefits water for the environment is having in the creek.”
Not only will the works benefit the local environment and fish population, it will also bring increased recreational fishing and ecotourism opportunities, in turn creating more jobs for people who live in the local community. The project had a definite community feel to it with local contracting hailing from Local sub-contractors from Cohuna, Gunbower, Echuca, Barham, Kerang, Koondrook and Boort.
The upstream fishway gates and stop logs at the downstream end had been installed at both fishway sites, which brings the second stage of the project to completion in time for the start of the irrigation season. The project has enjoyed plenty of interest and support from the community and staff have been working hard under difficult conditions.
Construction of the fishways is expected to be completed in October 2021.