Redland City Council opens catchment’s first ‘fishway’

The Redlands first ‘fishway’, which allows important native fish species to migrate through Hilliards Creek, will be opened on Friday.

Redland City Deputy Mayor Wendy Boglary said Council provided $7,000 towards construction of the fishway, the first to be completed in south-east Queensland under Reef Catchment’s federally funded project.

“Redland City Council is proud to collaborate on projects that contribute to improving native fish numbers,” Cr Boglary said.

Division 8 Councillor Tracey Huges said the project was great news for Hilliards Creek and the wider catchment.

“The research will show whether this innovative solution is effective in increasing native fish numbers.”

Environmental consultants Catchment Solutions designed and constructed the fishway as part of a larger project to reconnect aquatic habitats across the greater Brisbane urban area.

“A fishway help native fish to overcome obstacles on their underwater journey between the sea and freshwater habitats. In this case, a relic weir on Hilliards Creek formed a barrier, blocking fish passage for decades,” Cr Huges said.

Catchment Solutions fisheries biologist Matt Moore said the fishway acted as a ladder, providing a series of steps and pools in a natural rock formation that allowed the fish to easily ascend over the barrier.

“The weir in Ormiston has prevented fish migration of important species for many years,” Mr Moore said.

“No-one wants to see our native fish populations decline and disappear.

“We congratulate Redland City Council for taking the proactive steps and leading the way for more sustainable native fish populations for the future.”

Important recreational and economic fish species in the Redland area include Jungle Perch, Australian Bass, Sea Mullet and Long-finned eels.

In addition to the official fishway opening, scientists will electronically tag and release 100 Australian Bass fingerlings as part of important fish passage research.

“The research will aim to validate the effectiveness of the fishway at providing migratory native fish species the opportunity to move through our waterways to breed,” Mr Moore said.

“These important species need to migrate between the sea and upstream fresh water nursery habitat in the Hilliards Creek catchment to complete their life-cycle.”

Co-funding for this project was provided by Redland City Council and Reef Catchments, through funding from the Australian Government.