Marine and Freshwater Research Marine and Freshwater Research Society
Advances in the aquatic sciences
RESEARCH ARTICLE

Can a low-gradient vertical-slot fishway provide passage for a lowland river fish community?

Ivor G. Stuart A B E , Brenton P. Zampatti C and Lee J. Baumgartner D

A Arthur Rylah Institute for Environmental Research, Post Office Box 137, Heidelberg, Vic. 3084, Australia.

B Present address: Kingfisher Research, 20 Chapman Street, Diamond Creek, Vic. 3089, Australia.

C Inland Waters Program, SARDI Aquatic Sciences, Post Office Box 120, Henley Beach, SA 5022, Australia.

D New South Wales Department of Primary Industries, Narrandera Fisheries Centre, Post Office Box 182, Narrandera, NSW 2700, Australia.

E Corresponding author. Email: ivor.stuart@gmail.com

Marine and Freshwater Research 59(4) 332-346 https://doi.org/10.1071/MF07141
Submitted: 5 August 2007  Accepted: 3 March 2008   Published: 15 May 2008

Abstract

Fishways are commonly used to restore native fish movements in regulated rivers. In the Murray-Darling Basin, Australia, 14 fishways are to be built by 2011 to improve passage along 2225 km of the river. The first of these fishways, constructed in 2003, is a vertical-slot design with low water velocities (0.98–1.4 m s–1) and turbulence (average 42 W m–3). This design was selected to provide passage for individuals between 20 and 1000 mm long. To determine passage success, trapping and a remote automated passive integrated transponder (PIT) tag reading system was used from October 2003 to February 2006. In 57 24-h samples at the exit (upstream end) and entrance (downstream end), 13 species and 30 409 fish were collected at a maximum rate of 4415 fish per day. Fish between 31 and 1030 mm successfully ascended the fishway. However, significantly smaller (<31 mm) fish and small-bodied (<50 mm) carp gudgeons (Hypseleotris spp.), a species previously considered non-migratory, were sampled downstream from the entrance of the fishway. The remote PIT tag reading system revealed that 81% of native golden perch (Macquaria ambigua) and 87% of non-native common carp (Cyprinus carpio) successfully ascended the fishway. These data will help maximise the efficiency of future fishways against a series of pre-determined performance criteria.

Additional keywords: Australia, common carp, golden perch, migration, Murray River, pasive integrated transponder tag, potamodromous.


Acknowledgements

The construction of the Lock 8 fishway was funded by the Murray-Darling Basin Commission (MDBC). We sincerely thank Jim Barrett and John Prentice (MDBC) for their support. Expert technical assistance in the field was provided by staff from three states. From Victoria, we thank John McKenzie, Andrew Pickworth and Karl Pomorin, Arthur Rylah Institute. Karl Pomorin developed ‘Autologger’, the PIT tag monitoring and download system. From the New South Wales Department of Primary Industries we thank Ian Wooden, Leo Cameron, Nathan Reynoldson and Justin Stanger. From the South Australian Research and Development Institute, we thank David Short, Ian Magraith and Chris Bice. We are grateful for on-site support at Lock 8 by SA Water staff, including Colin Pfennig, Brian Kelly, John McNeil and David Sly. We thank Craig Broadfoot, Queensland Fisheries Service, for technical support in designing and installing the PIT tag reader. Tim Marsden, Queensland Fisheries Service, drafted the fishway diagrams. Thanks to Barry Porter, Department of Water, Land and Biodiversity Conservation, for the river flow information. We thank four anonymous referees for improving an earlier draft of the manuscript.


References

Aarestrup, K. , Lucas, M. C. , and Hansen, J. A. (2003). Efficiency of a nature-like bypass channel for sea trout (Salmo trutta) ascending a small Danish stream studied by PIT telemetery. Ecology of Freshwater Fish 12, 160–168.
CrossRef |

Anderson, J. R. , Morison, A. K. , and Ray, D. J. (1992). Age and growth of Murray cod Maccullochella peelii (Perciformes: Percichthyidae) in the lower Murray-Darling Basin, Australia, from thin-sectioned otoliths. Australian Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research 43, 983–1013.
CrossRef |

Barrett, J. , and Mallen-Cooper, M. (2006). The Murray River’s ‘Sea to Hume Dam’ fish passage program: progress to date and lessons learned. Ecological Management and Restoration 7, 173–183.
CrossRef |

Baumgartner L. (2005). Effects of weirs on fish movements in the Murray-Darling Basin. Ph.D. Thesis, University of Canberra, Australia.

Baumgartner, L. (2007). Diet and feeding habits of predatory fishes upstream and downstream of a low-level weir. Journal of Fish Biology 70, 879–894.
CrossRef |

Baumgartner, L. J. , Stuart, I. G. , and Zampatti, B. (2008). Determining diel variation of fish assemblages downstream of three weirs in a regulated lowland river. Journal of Fish Biology 72(1), 218–232.


Bertozzi, T. , Adams, M. , and Walker, K. F. (2000). Species boundaries in carp gudgeons (Eleotrididae: Hypseleotris) from the River Murray, South Australia: evidence for multiple species and extensive hybridization. Marine and Freshwater Research 51, 805–815.
CrossRef |

Brown, P. , Sivakumuran, K. P. , Stoessel, D. , and Giles, A. (2005). Population biology of carp (Cyprinus carpio L.) in the mid-Murray and Barmah wetlands. Marine and Freshwater Research 56, 1151–1164.
CrossRef |

Calles, E. O. , and Greenberg, L. A. (2005). Evaluation of nature-like fishways for re-establishing connectivity in fragmented salmonid populations in the River Eman. River Research and Applications 21, 951–960.
CrossRef |

Calles, E. O. , and Greenberg, L. A. (2007). The use of two nature-like fishways by some fish species in the Swedish River Eman. Ecology of Freshwater Fish 16, 183–190.
CrossRef |

Castro-Santos, T. , Haro, A. , and Walk, S. (1996). A passive integrated transponder (PIT) tag system for monitoring fishways. Fisheries Research 28, 253–261.
CrossRef |

Cook, B. D. , Baker, A. M. , Page, T. J. , Grant, S. C. , Fawcett, J. H. , Hurwood, D. A. , and Hughes, J. M. (2006). Biogeographic history of an Australian freshwater shrimp, Paratya australiensis (Atyidae): the role of life history transition in phylogeographic diversification. Molecular Ecology 15, 1083–1093.
PubMed |

Eberstaller J., Hinterhofer M., and Parasiewicz P. (1998). The effectiveness of two nature-like bypass channels in an upland Austrian river. In ‘Fish Migration and Fish Bypasses’. (Eds M. Jungwirth, S. Schmutz and S. Weiss.) pp. 363–383. (Fishing News Books: Oxford.)

European Water Framework Directive (2000). Available online at http://ec.europa.eu/environment/water/water-framework/index_en.html [Verified 8 April 2008].

Gebler R. J. (1998). Examples of near-natural fish passes in Germany: drop structure conversions, fish ramps and bypass channels. In ‘Fish Migration and Fish Bypasses’. (Eds M. Jungwirth, S. Schmutz and S. Weiss.) pp. 403–419. (Fishing News Books: Oxford.)

Gowans, A. R. D. , Armstrong, J. D. , Priede, I. G. , and Mckelvey, S. (2003). Movements of Atlantic salmon migrating upstream through a fish-pass complex in Scotland. Ecology of Freshwater Fish 12, 177–189.
CrossRef |

Hammer, M. P. , Adams, M. , Unmack, P. J. , and Walker, K. F. (2007). A rethink on Retropinna: conservation implications of new taxa and significant genetic sub-structure in Australian smelts (Pisces: Retropinnidae). Marine and Freshwater Research 58, 327–341.
CrossRef |

Harris J. H., Thorncraft G., and Wem P. (1998). Evaluation of rock-ramp fishways in Australia. In ‘Fish Migration and Fish Bypasses’. (Eds M. Jungwirth, S. Schmutz and S. Weiss.) pp. 331–347. (Fishing News Books: Oxford.)

Jens G. (1971). The function, construction, and operation of fishways. Archiv fuer Fischereiwissenschaft 22, 1–30. [In German]

Jungwirth, M. (1996). Bypass channels at weirs as appropriate aids for fish migration in rhithral rivers. Regulated Rivers: Research and Management 12, 483–492.
CrossRef |

Jutagate, T. , Thapanand, T. , and Tabthipwan, P. (2007). Is sluice gate management beneficial for spawning migrations? The case of the shark catfish (Helicophagus wandersii) in the Mun River below Pak Mun Dam, Thailand. River Research and Applications 23, 87–97.
CrossRef |

Knaepkens, G. , Maerten, E. , Tudorache, C. , De Boeck, G. , and Eens, M. (2007a). Evaluation of passive integrated transponder tags for marking the bullhead (Cottus gobio), a small benthic freshwater fish: effects on survival, growth and swimming capacity. Ecology of Freshwater Fish 16, 404–409.
CrossRef |

Knaepkens, G. , Maerten, E. , and Eens, M. (2007b). Performance of a pool-and-weir fish pass for small bottom-dwelling freshwater fish species in a regulated lowland river. Animal Biology 57, 423–432.
CrossRef |

Koehn J. D. (2007). The ecology and conservation management of Murray cod Maccullochella peelii peelii. Ph.D. Thesis, University of Melbourne, Australia.

Larinier M. (2002). Pool fishways, pre-barrages and natural bypass channels. In ‘Fishways: Biological Basis, Design Criteria and Monitoring’. (Eds M. Larinier, F. Travade and J. P. Porcher.) Bulletin Francais de la Peche et de la Pisciculture 364, 54–82.

Lucas M. C., and Baras E. (2001). ‘Migration of Freshwater Fishes.’ (Blackwell Science: Oxford.)

Lucas, M. C. , Mercer, T. , Armstrong, J. D. , McGinty, S. , and Rycroft, P. (1999). Use of a flat-bed passive integrated transponder antenna array to study the migration and behaviour of lowland river fishes at a fish pass. Fisheries Research 44, 183–191.
CrossRef |

Mader H., Unfer G., and Schmutz S. (1998). The effectiveness of nature-like bypass channels in a lowland river, the Marchfeldkanal. In ‘Fish Migration and Fish Bypasses’. (Eds M. Jungwirth, S. Schmutz and S. Weiss.) pp. 384–402. (Fishing News Books: Oxford.)

Mallen-Cooper M. (1996). Fishways and freshwater fish migration in south-eastern Australia. Ph.D. Thesis, University of Technology, Sydney.

Mallen-Cooper M. (1999). Developing fishways for non-salmonid fishes: a case study from the Murray River in Australia. In ‘Innovations in Fish Passage Technology’. (Ed. M. Odeh.) pp. 173–195. (American Fisheries Society: Bethesda.)

Mallen-Cooper, M. , and Brand, D. A. (2007). Non-salmonids in a salmonid fishway: what do 50 years of data tell us about past and future fish passage? Fisheries Management and Ecology 14, 319–332.
CrossRef |

Mallen-Cooper, M. , and Stuart, I. G. (2003). Age, growth, and non-flood recruitment of two potamodromous fishes in a large semi-arid/temperate river system. River Research and Applications 19, 697–719.
CrossRef |

McKillup S. (2005). ‘Statistics Explained. An Introductory Guide for Life Scientists.’ (Cambridge University Press: Cambridge.)

Mussared D. (1997). ‘Living on Floodplains.’ (Co-operative Research Centre for Freshwater Ecology and the Murray-Darling Basin Commission: Canberra.)

Northcote T. G. (1998). Migratory behaviour of fish and its significance to movement through riverine passage facilities. In ‘Fish Migration and Fish Bypasses’. (Eds M. Jungwirth, S. Schmutz and S. Weiss.) pp. 3–18. (Fishing News Books: Oxford.)

O’Connor, J. P. , O’Mahony, D. J. , and O’Mahony, J. M. (2005). Movements of Macquaria ambigua, in the Murray River, south-eastern Australia. Journal of Fish Biology 66, 392–403.
CrossRef |

Pasche E., and Blank M. (1995). The cultural and environmental importance of fish in central Europe. In ‘Proceedings of the International Symposium on Fishways ’95 in Gifu’. (Ed. S. Komura.) pp. 25–32. (Publications Committee of the International Symposium on Fishways ’95: Gifu, Japan.)

Pusey B., Kennard M., and Arthington A. (2004). ‘Freshwater Fishes of North-eastern Australia.’ (CSIRO Publishing: Melbourne.)

Reynolds, L. F. (1983). Migration patterns of five fish species in the Murray-Darling River system. Australian Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research 34, 857–871.
CrossRef |

Richardson, A. J. , Growns, J. E. , and Cook, R. A. (2004). Distribution and life history of caridean shrimps in regulated lowland rivers in southern Australia. Marine and Freshwater Research 55, 295–308.
CrossRef |

Stuart, I. G. , and Berghuis, A. P. (2002). Upstream passage of fish through a vertical-slot fishway in an Australian sub-tropical river. Fisheries Management and Ecology 9, 111–122.
CrossRef |

Stuart, I. G. , and Jones, M. J. (2006). Movement of common carp, Cyprinus carpio, in a regulated lowland Australian river: implications for management. Fisheries Management and Ecology 13, 213–219.
CrossRef |

Stuart, I. G. , and Mallen-Cooper, M. (1999). An assessment of the effectiveness of a vertical-slot fishway for non-salmonid fish at a tidal barrier on a large tropical/sub-tropical river. Regulated Rivers: Research and Management 15, 575–590.
CrossRef |

Stuart I., Baumgartner L., Zampatti B., and Barrett J. (2004). Fishways in Australia – an adaptive approach to restoring fish passage along a large river. In ‘Proceedings of the 5th International Symposium on Ecohydraulics’. (Eds D. Garcia De Jalon and P. Martinez.) pp. 300–304. (International Association of Hydraulic Engineers and Research: Madrid.)

Stuart, I. G. , Williams, A. , McKenzie, J. , and Holt, T. (2006). Managing a migratory pest species: a selective trap for common carp. North American Journal of Fisheries Management 26, 888–893.
CrossRef |

Stuart, I. G. , Berghuis, A. P. , Long, P. E. , and Mallen-Cooper, M. (2007). Do fish locks have potential in tropical rivers? River Research and Applications 23, 269–286.
CrossRef |

Stuart I. G., Baumgartner L. J., and Zampatti B. P. Lock gates improve passage of small-bodied fish and crustaceans in a low gradient vertical-slot fishway. Fisheries Management and Ecology, in press.

Waidbacher H. G., and Haidvogl G. (1998). Fish migration and fish passage facilities in the Danube: past and present. In ‘Fish Migration and Fish Bypasses’. (Eds M. Jungwirth, S. Schmutz and S. Weiss.) pp. 85–98. (Fishing News Books: Oxford.)

Walker, K. F. (1985). A review of the ecological effects of river regulation in Australia. Hydrobiologia 125, 111–129.
CrossRef |

Walker, K. F. , and Thoms, M. C. (1993). Environmental effects of flow regulation on the lower River Murray, Australia. Regulated Rivers: Research and Management 8, 103–119.
CrossRef |

Yamamoto, S. , Morita, K. , Koizumi, I. , and Maekawa, K. (2004). Genetic differentiation of white-spotted charr (Salverlinus leucomaenis) populations after habitat fragmentation: spatial–temporal changes in gene frequencies. Conservation Genetics 5, 529–538.
CrossRef |



Rent Article (via Deepdyve) Export Citation Cited By (32)