Ord River Fish Passage Assessment
WRM, in conjunction with Department of Primary Industries Qld, RecFishWest and Department of Water, conducted fish surveys of the Ord River above and below the Ord River Dam, the Kununurra Diversion Dam, Ivanhoe Crossing, and at reference sites to assess the need for developing a fish ladder or lift over these structures to reinstate fish passage.
Surveys were conducted using an electrofisher boat and CPUE gill netting, and showed large numbers of juvenile barramundi and juvenile bait fish, mostly mullet accumulated below the diversion dam in the late wet season. Movement of these fish into Lake Kununurra could assist in the development of a valuable recreational barramundi fishery.
The optimum design for fish passage over the diversion dam was found to be a hydraulic fish lift. However, Lake Kununurra is currently being stocked with barramundi fingerlings to assess the viability of a recreational fishery in the lake, prior to committing to the cost of a fish lift.