The Andrews Labor Government has opened two new fishways at weirs in Koondrook and Cohuna connecting 140 kilometres of prime fish habitat in Gunbower Creek to 530 kilometres of open Murray River to boost native fish populations.
The project was funded through a $1.5 million commitment from the Labor Government’s Building Works Capital Stimulus Package and $4.6 million via the Victorian Environmental Water Holder (VEWH).
The fishways are vital to creating new recreational fishing and ecotourism opportunities, with recreational fishing contributing more than $304 million a year to the wider regional economy.
Fishways are constructed alongside weirs, to allow fish to bypass the gates and swim upstream, allowing them to breed and feed.
The infrastructure builds on years of Government investment into Gunbower Creek through delivery of water for the environment, construction of three other fishways, construction of Australia’s first fish exclusion screen on an irrigation channel in Cohuna, and decades of native fish stocking.
The fishways are part of the North Central Catchment Management Authority’s Native Fish Recovery Plan, which aims to create a world-class native fishery in the region.
Today’s official opening follows eight months of works by Goulburn-Murray Water and principal contractor S&R Engineering and Construction.
Quote attributable to Minister for Water Lisa Neville
“The completed fishways at Koondrook and Cohuna are outstanding examples of an integrated approach to waterway management.”
Quote attributable to Parliamentary Secretary for Water Harriet Shing
“Healthy waterways support healthy fisheries and the social and economic benefits that they provide to regional communities.”
Quote attributable to Victorian Environmental Water Holder Co-Chief Executive Officer Dr Sarina Loo
“This investment is an example of how our teams work with the regions to ensure flexibility and adaptability of the Victorian Environmental Water Holder watering program.”
Reviewed 08 December 2021