Kyogle fishway wins a third environmental award

Kyogle Council’s innovative Fishway Project has won a third environmental award.

The fishway, which removed one of the last major fish migration barriers in the Richmond River, won the Highly Commended Award for the Environmental Enhancement Category at the 2017 Institute of Public Works Engineering Australasia (IPWEA) Engineering Excellence Awards. Ballina Shire Council was the winner of the Category with its Coastal Recreational Path project.

Other awards won by Kyogle Council this year for the Fishway Project include the Habitat and Wildlife Guardianship Award as part of the Keep NSW Beautiful Blue Star Sustainability Awards and the Local Government NSW Excellence in the Environment Award.

Built at a cost of $1.37 million, the Kyogle 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, allowing them to cross the weir to spawn, feed and seek refuge in the upper reaches of the Richmond River.

Kyogle Mayor, Danielle Mulholland said the three awards highlighted Council’s ingenuity and commitment to the environment.

“This is a very innovative design which is being recognised for its quality and uniqueness across the State,” Cr Mulholland said.

“Kyogle Council has worked hard to secure funding and our creative approach is delivering great outcomes for the community.  I am very proud of the team who worked on the Fish ladder and I’m pleased they are being recognised for their work.”

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.

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. The 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.