Like what you've read?

On Line Opinion is the only Australian site where you get all sides of the story. We don't
charge, but we need your support. Here’s how you can help.

  • Advertise

    We have a monthly audience of 70,000 and advertising packages from $200 a month.

  • Volunteer

    We always need commissioning editors and sub-editors.

  • Contribute

    Got something to say? Submit an essay.


 The National Forum   Donate   Your Account   On Line Opinion   Forum   Blogs   Polling   About   
On Line Opinion logo ON LINE OPINION - Australia's e-journal of social and political debate

Subscribe!
Subscribe





On Line Opinion is a not-for-profit publication and relies on the generosity of its sponsors, editors and contributors. If you would like to help, contact us.
___________

Syndicate
RSS/XML


RSS 2.0

Slots in dyke walls, won’t fix mulloway fishery

By Jennifer Marohasy - posted Tuesday, 3 June 2014


Congolli rather than mulloway are now the focus of restoration efforts in the Lower Lakes. In a 2011 article by Ruchira Talukdar from the Australian Conservation Foundation, this species common in estuaries in Tasmania, Victoria and southern NSW is incorrectly described as being on the verge of extinction and dependent on the Goolwa Barrage boat lock for passage to the Coorong to spawn. Ms Talukdar wrote: "Upstream over-extraction of water in the Murray-Darling Basin and the prolonged drought had left the Lower Lakes disconnected from the Coorong, dealing a killing blow to congolli breeding. The females couldn't make their downstream migration for the last four years. Fortunately for the congolli, the August 2010 floods sent enough water down the Murray-Darling to connect the Lakes to the Coorong. During a six-week rescue operation which ended in October 2010, the State Government enabled as many as 20,000 females to swim into the Coorong by using the Goolwa Barrage boat lock was used as a temporary fish passage."

What neither the media release from the Minister, nor the article published by the Conservation Foundation, admitted is that there are already fishways in the Murray Mouth barrages. They were built as part of the $60 million 'Sea to Hume Dam' project launched in 2003.

Monitoring of the fishways built a part of this initiative, including the Tauwitchere large vertical-slot, Tauwitchere small vertical-slot, Goolwa vertical-slot, Hunters Creek Vertical slot, and the Tauwitchere rock ramp showed 10,900 congolli moved through these structures during 2010 and 2011, with half of these fish using the rock-ramp. But the overwhelmingly dominant species using the fishways and rock-ramp were not congolli but rather the pest red fin perch and tiny ubiquitous Australian smelt (Retropinna semoni) with 442,675 and 455,089, respectively, recorded entering or leaving the fishways and rock-ramp over this period.

Advertisement

There is no shortage of money for building slots in dyke walls, and paying bureaucrats to count hundreds of thousands of insignificant tiny fish that wash between the slots, but there is a complete absence of honest reporting on the true state of the Lower Lakes fishery and what is most needed for its restoration.

What a shame.

  1. Pages:
  2. 1
  3. Page 2
  4. All

This article was first published on Myth and the Murray.



Discuss in our Forums

See what other readers are saying about this article!

Click here to read & post comments.

7 posts so far.

Share this:
reddit this reddit thisbookmark with del.icio.us Del.icio.usdigg thisseed newsvineSeed NewsvineStumbleUpon StumbleUponsubmit to propellerkwoff it

About the Author

Jennifer Marohasy is a senior fellow with the Institute for Public Affairs.

Other articles by this Author

All articles by Jennifer Marohasy

Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

Photo of Jennifer Marohasy
Article Tools
Comment 7 comments
Print Printable version
Subscribe Subscribe
Email Email a friend
Advertisement

About Us Search Discuss Feedback Legals Privacy