Native fish migrating freely up Buchan River

The Buchan River in East Gippsland has a new rock ramp fishway in between Lousadas Road bridge and the Buchan water supply log weir.

Fish are migrating freely along the river after the barrier caused by the weir was removed.

Removing this barrier is providing native fish populations with access to an additional 127km of the largely undisturbed forested reaches of the Buchan River upstream of the Buchan township.

Construction of the fishway involved placing a range of different sized rocks within the Buchan River in accordance with a specialised design. The design allows fish to swim up and over the weir.

Monitoring of fish populations before construction has seen seven native fish species downstream of the weir. Species identified included Long-finned eel, Australian bass, Congoli or Tupong, Common galaxias, Flat-headed gudgeon, Australian smelt and Southern pygmy perch.

Finding Southern Pygmy Perch in the Buchan River is particularly significant because they are listed as a threatened species.

The results from the monitoring confirmed there were fewer fish species upstream of the weir compared to downstream.

Further fish monitoring will be undertaken in Spring 2023.

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