Improved structure on Buckenbowra River a boost to migratory fish

A $70,000 upgrade to a causeway on the Buckenbowra River will allow for better fish passage, Minister for Primary Industries Ian Macdonald said today.

"The reconstructed causeway which crosses the Buckenbowra River at Quart Pot, about 12 kilometres west of Batemans Bay, will be a huge boost to migratory fish as they move between the river and estuary as part of their life cycle," Mr Macdonald said.

The new structure has been funded by Eurobodalla Shire Council, the Recreation Fishing Trust, Natural Heritage Trust, and Environmental Trust, through the NSW Department of Primary Industries and the Southern Rivers Catchment Management Authority (CMA).

NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) Conservation Manager, Scott Nichols, said the previous low-level causeway had no pipe culverts and acted as an obstacle to migratory fish passage during low to moderate river flows.

“The new structure will be a huge boost to migratory fish as they move between the river and estuary, with many native fish species depending on access to different habitats to breed, feed, and avoid predators,” he said.

The new crossing has been constructed with two box culverts set into the river bed  to facilitate fish passage over most flows.

“This ensures an adequate depth of water through the culverts under low flow conditions and allows for fish passage at these times.”

The crossing was a high priority within the Southern Rivers CMA because the migratory Australian grayling (Prototractes maraena), listed as vulnerable under the Federal Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act, has been recorded in the Buckenbowra River, and because of the excellent quality aquatic habitat within the Buckenbowra River.

The Buckenbowra River is also home to a diverse range of other fish species including the migratory Australian bass (Macquaria australasica) - a popular recreational fishing species.

The new fishing crossing opens up approximately 16.5 kilometres of unimpeded stream length upstream of the site during all flow events, with a total distance of approximately 28 kilometres of habitat opened up to the Clyde River confluence, as a result of the work.

Work on the new structure was undertaken by the Eurobodalla Shire Council and was completed in December last year.


Photo available.