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Monday, 22 May 2023

King River fishway underway at Docker

The North East Catchment Management Authority (CMA) has recently commenced a fish-friendly upgrade of the stream gauge control structure on Taungurung Country over the King River at Docker.

The existing sheet-pile control structure will be replaced with a rock structure that will gauge stream flow accurately, provide fish passage, minimise erosion, all whilst having minimal maintenance requirements.

The Docker Bridge gauging weir is important for gauging stream flows and it acts as an early flood warning system for Wangaratta, however its condition has deteriorated since it was built in 1966, and it is in need of replacement.

“The existing stream gauge control structure can hinder the movement of native fish at low flows and it is in need of replacement,” said Dr Matt Jones, freshwater fish ecologist at the Arthur Rylah Institute (ARI) for Environmental Research.

“The new fish-friendly design will improve passage for a range of native fish species such as blackfish, galaxias, Murray cod, and Macquarie perch.”

The new structure will also perform its fundamental duty as an instream control for stream gauging and flood warning purposes.

The project is jointly managed by North East CMA and Arthur Rylah Institute, with funding from the Victorian Government through its Regional Water Monitoring Partnerships program.

The works have also been supported by Taungurung Land and Waters Council (TLaWC) which included a Cultural Heritage Management Plan (CHMP) to mitigate potential harmful impacts to cultural heritage on Country.

Hamex has commenced construction and works will be completed when river flows allow. All construction works will access the river from private property just downstream of the Docker-Carboor Road bridge. There will be no traffic delays, however traffic speed is reduced during construction as there will be heavy vehicles coming and going.



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