Thousands of fish find new home thanks to relocation operation

17 Aug 2009

More than 10,000 extra fish are now upstream of the Julius Dam thanks to a massive relocation effort by SunWater.

The fish, which until recently were living in and around the dam’s plunge pool area were relocated so SunWater could dewater and carry out its five yearly dam safety inspection of the dam wall.

SunWater Environmental Officer Jason Williams said the relocation operation took around a week and involved pumping water out of the large plunge pool area while SunWater staff and fish trapping consultants carried out electro fishing.

“When dealing with large numbers of fish non-lethal electro fishing is the most effective method as it enables a faster relocation process and results in minimal impact on fish,” Mr Williams said.

“Fish were able to be transported to the upstream release point about 2kms away by using specially-designed plastic bins fitted with air compressors to reduce any stress.
“During the relocation our team encountered more than 20 different fish species including barramundi, sooty grunter, gulf grunter, long tom and sleepy cod.

 “This is an unusually large amount of fish to find in one location and to have to relocate, but thanks to good planning the operation went off without a hitch.
“We were happy we were able to carry out the relocation and still keep total fish losses to under 100 and at the same time restock the upstream impoundment area by such a large amount,” he said.

SunWater has now finished its five yearly safety inspection and is currently preparing its report for State’s dam regulator.

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