Kyogle fishway wins second environmental award

Kyogle Council’s innovative Fishway Project has won its second environmental award.

The fishway, which removed one of the last major fish migration barriers in the Richmond River, won the Habitat and Wildlife Guardianship Award as part of the Keep NSW Beautiful Blue Star Sustainability Awards.

In early October the fishway project won a Local Government NSW Excellence in the Environment Award.

Built by Kyogle Council at a cost of $1.37 million, the fishway has reduced the 1.8 meter straight drop of the old Kyogle weir to 24 x 100mm lifts over 48 meters moving down stream.

It has opened up 300km of upstream waterways to fish like the Australian Bass, and the endangered Eastern Freshwater Cod.

Kyogle Mayor, Danielle Mulholland said this latest award highlighted the environmental importance of the fishway to the aquatic life of the Richmond River and was testament to the hard work and outstanding effort that went into the project.

Kyogle Council partnered with DPI Fisheries, NSW Public Works, Restart NSW, the NSW Environmental Trust and the NSW Recreational Fishing Trust to deliver this project,” she said.

“It is a brilliant example of cross government cooperation. Alone we do great work, but in partnership with other government agencies we can excel. Being a small council, we need to be creative in the way we deliver outcomes,” Cr Mulholland said.

As part of the fishway’s innovative design, pre-fabricated v-shaped concrete baffles were installed into the bed of the river to create the graduated 48 metre climb to the weir.

It allows native fish to cross the weir to spawn, feed and seek refuge in the upper reaches of the Richmond River.

The innovative design allowed the fishway to be constructed in challenging conditions at half the cost of traditional technical fishways.

The concrete baffles for the fishway were pre-fabricated by Kyogle Council’s bridge and concrete crew and installed by Woodenbong-based contactor MJ Smith Ground Preparation.