Helping fish along the way to Lake Corangamite

Aug 7, 2017Threatened Species, Wetlands & Lakes

Barrage 2015
Cundare Barrage culvert upgrades 2015

The Corangamite CMA has recently completed a large scale project to help fish move between Lake Corangamite and the Woady Yaloak River. Originally we enlarged the outlet from Cundare Pool to Lake Corangamite at what is known as the Cundare Barrage. Here we installed new culverts and regulators, allowing more water to be moved through to Lake Corangamite in 2015.  The ‘fishway’ (pictures below) was added to the original culvert structure in February 2017.  ‘Fishways’ are engineered structures that help native fish to move past ‘barriers’ along rivers, such as weirs and waterfalls or places where the speed of the water is exaggerated, such as culverts and pipes. These typically include a separate channel beside the barrier. These channels usually include obstacles, such as strategically placed rocks, that break up the flow of water and allow fish to move around them and eventually past the barrier. The Cundare Barrage fishway allows many thousands of native fish to move from Lake Corangamite, which is now three times saltier than sea water, through to the fresher waters of the Cundare Pool and further upstream to the Woady Yaloak River.

This fishway is unique to western Victoria as it is a combination of a low flow rock ramp fishway and a precast cone fishway. It is designed to pass fish across all flows that will pass through the culverts.

fishway looking upstream 2017
Staff member Luke Pitman standing on the upgraded fishway on the left side of the culverts
Fishway looking downstream 2017
Fishway looking downstream towards Lake Corangamite showing the low-flow fishway channel in operation.
Galaxiids at Cundare Barrage
Galaxiid fishes moving through the low flow channel