View Full Version : Gooseponds Get Fishways

07-09-2001, 04:23 PM
CONSTRUCTION of four fishway systems within the Goosepond Creek recreational reserve at Mackay will boost Pioneer River native fish stocks and provide a highly visible educational resource.

Department of Primary Industries Queensland Fisheries Service biologist, Tim Marsden, said the $41,000 Natural Heritage Trust-funded Goosepond Creek Fishway project would replace four cement weirs which restricted in-stream migration of juvenile fish with four different fishway systems.

Mr Marsden said work on the two-month construction phase would begin from Monday next week (September 10).

"Goosepond Creek is one of only two small freshwater creek habitats that remain in the lower reaches of the Pioneer River system as all other former creeks have been transformed into urban or agricultural drains," said Mr Marsden.

"The Goosepond Creek weirs were originally installed to create recreational pondage. Inadvertently, their construction also created a valuable nursery for fish species such as barramundi, mullet, tarpon and mangrove jack. These fishways will remove the movement barriers into the system and greatly enhance recruitment into these nursery areas.

"When completed, the fishways will open up 90 percent of the Goosepond Creek catchment which flows about 15km from its source in the Black Mountain district. Goosepond Creek has good quality, reliable water flows throughout most years and right now there are 200mm to 900mm barramundi in the lower end of the system," said Mr Marsden.

With assistance from Mackay City Council and the Pioneer River Improvement Trust, Queensland Fisheries Service officers would oversee the design and construction. Designs plans were for rock ramp, log, vertical slot and by-pass channels around each of the weirs. There would be pedestrian access connecting each fishway with signage explaining each fishway operation.

Mr Marsden said the only other freshwater creek in the Pioneer’s lower reaches still functioning was Fursden Creek located about 5km upstream from Goosepond Creek. Fursden Creek was only about one-quarter the size of the Goosepond system.

Another Mackay waterway restoration project about to get underway involved the rehabilitation of the former Vines Creek.

Mr Marsden said Goosepond Creek actually ran into Vines Creek which was currently a grassy urban drain but in the next couple of months, 500 metres would be restored to create a series of tree-lined pools while still maintaining its water drainage function.

The objective was to create more habitat suitable for juvenile fish to increase the overall fisheries productivity of the Pioneer River system. This transformation work would be carried out by a community group partnership of the Pioneer Integrated Catchment Management Association and the Central Coast Revegetation Initiative in conjunction with DPI Fisheries.