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Restoring ecological connectivity in the Margaret River: Western Australia's first rock-ramp fishways

Beatty, S.J.ORCID: 0000-0003-2620-2826, Morgan, D.L. and Torre, A. (2007) Restoring ecological connectivity in the Margaret River: Western Australia's first rock-ramp fishways. Ecological Management & Restoration, 8 (3). pp. 224-228.

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Although a considerable amount of research has examined the impacts of barriers to fish migration elsewhere in Australia and the effectiveness of the many fishways constructed to overcome such barriers evaluated (e.g. Stuart & Mallen-Cooper 1999; Barrett & Mallen-Cooper 2006 and references therein), only recently have the impact of barriers and the need for construction of fishways begun to be assessed in Western Australia (e.g. Morgan & Beatty 2006).

Five of the eight endemic fishes of south-western Australia inhabit the Margaret River, along with the Pouched Lamprey (Geotria australis, Grey 1851) and one exotic fish species (Morgan et al. 1998; Morgan & Beatty 2003). It is one of the few rivers in the region (approximately 60 km long, catchment of 470 km2, mean annual discharge of 99 800 ML (1962–2004, Department of Water 2007)) that has had the main channel regulated by two weirs located approximately 15-river km from its mouth. In order to mitigate the potential impact of these barriers, the first of two rock-ramp fishways (Fig. 1) was constructed in 2003 at the Apex Weir. The construction of the second fishway was completed in early 2006 to mitigate the impact on fish migration posed by a second weir (Barrett St) located only ~1 km upstream of the Apex Weir. Both fishways were constructed with a 1:20 gradient (see Morgan & Beatty 2004 for other engineering aspects). The aim of this study was to determine the relative effectiveness of these fishways in restoring river connectedness by facilitating fish migrations.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Centre for Fish and Fisheries Research
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell
Copyright: © 2007 The Author Journal compilation © 2007 Ecological Society of Australia
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