An inside look at the Hinze Dam trap and haul fishway

When we upgraded Hinze Dam in 2011, the requirement was that we had a fishway so that we could transfer fish back and forth across the dam wall. So as part of that regulatory requirement we operate this fishway – minimum three times a week but every day while the dam is spilling. The fish’s natural migration is to move upstream so we artificially run water through a small chamber which attracts the fish into that section and then we drain the water out of that into what is essentially a small bucket. which we call a ‘hopper’. We lift that big bucket up, full of fish… and then we bring it on to a table and then sort those fish out – pest species out, native species in Three. One mullet. and then we transfer the native species up into the dam and they can continue with their natural migration. During the flood event there have literally been thousands of fish that are migrating back and forth over the dam wall. A couple of weeks ago we were catching eels in their thousands. And that’s now tapered off however we have been catching mullet in their hundreds and bass in their hundreds. The benefits are we have an increase in diversity so we’ve got plenty of native species up in the dam. But also allowing them free movement downstream while the dam is spilling. So it adds to biodiversity by having a variety of different species and also it’s fantasitc for the angler They can come out here and they can catch a whole range of different species in Hinze Dam

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