Wallamba River now more fish friendly

08/11/2011:  Native fish passage along the Wallamba River near Nabiac has been improved with an upgrade of the causeway at Wellers Lane crossing.

NSW Department of Primary Industries (NSW DPI) Conservation Action Unit manager, Kylie Russell, said the recent construction of a three cell box culvert has opened up 18 kilometres of upstream aquatic habitat to native fish.

“Prior to the improvements constructed at Wellers Lane, fish passage at the crossing was greatly restricted during most flow conditions,” Ms Russell said.

“Until the causeway was completely flooded all flows were directed through one pipe, or sheeted shallowly across the roadway with an excessive drop on the downstream side, which limited upstream migration of native fish.

“The new low and medium flow level box culverts enable fish passage for native fish such as Australian Bass, even in medium and low flows.

“The box culvert design maintains the structural integrity and hydraulic capacity of the crossing, and provides continued bed control.”

Ms Russell said Wellers Lane Crossing was rated number nine in the priority list of structures identified as barriers in a 2006 audit of fish passage barriers for the Hunter Central Rivers Catchment Management Authority (CMA) area.

“The crossing at Wellers Lane was the last remaining high priority structure on the Wallamba River,” she said.

“Recent works have also restored fish passage at Dargavilles Crossing and at Clarksons Crossing downstream of Weller’s Crossing.”

Construction of the fish passage was managed by NSW DPI, with funding from NSW Recreational Fishing Trust, Greater Taree City Council and the Hunter Central Rivers CMA, through the Australian Government's Caring for our Country Program.

Via NSW Department of Primary Industries (NSW DPI)