Fishway to help thousands of fish migrate each day

The completion of a rock ramp fishway at Sandy Creek is expected to provide uninhibited passage to thousands of fish per day.

Mayor Greg Williamson said the causeway at Palm Tree Road at Sandy Creek was identified as a major barrier to fish migration as part of the Mackay Whitsunday Fish Barrier Prioritisation Project.

“The completion of this rock ramp fishway is expected to help thousands, if not tens of thousands, of juvenile fish species migrate each day during peak migration periods,” he said.

“Maintaining connectivity between saltwater and freshwater habitats is critical to our aquatic ecosystem’s health and will provide local anglers and tourists with more opportunities to 'hook a barra' and have a great fishing experience.”

Catchment Solutions’ Matt Moore said the completion of the ramp earlier this month was great news for important recreational, commercial and indigenous fish species such as barramundi, mangrove jack, jungle perch, sea mullet and tarpon.

“These migratory fish species breed in the open water and lower estuaries before their offspring migrate upstream as juveniles into freshwater habitats,” he said.

“They utilise the abundant food resources and shelter that our freshwater wetlands provide to grow quickly, before migrating downstream to breed.

“The ramp will provide juveniles with access to an extensive stream network containing a multitude of in-stream and off-stream aquatic habitats in Sandy Creek.”

This Works for Queensland project is delivering jobs for regional Queensland and was funded by the Queensland Government, with the support of Mackay Regional Council. The Mackay Whitsunday Fish Barrier Prioritisation Project was undertaken by Catchment Solutions.