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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle

A Cone Fishway Facilitates Lateral Migrations of Tropical River-Floodplain Fish Communities

1
Narrandera Fisheries Centre, New South Wales Department of Primary Industries, PO Box 182, Narrandera, NSW, 2700, Australia
2
Institute of Land, Water and Society, Charles Sturt University, PO Box 789, Albury, NSW, 2640, Australia
3
Port Stephens Fisheries Institute, New South Wales Department of Primary Industries, Locked Bag 1, Nelson Bay NSW, 2315, Australia
4
Australasian Fish Passage Services, 6 Spinifex Street, Fern Bay, New South Wales, 2295, Australia
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Department of Livestock and Fisheries, National University of Laos, PO Box 7322, Vientiane, Laos
6
Living Aquatic Resources Research Centre, PO Box 9108, Vientiane, Laos
7
Kingfisher Research, 177 Progress Road, Eltham, Victoria, 3095, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2020, 12(2), 513; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12020513 (registering DOI)
Received: 7 January 2020 / Revised: 10 February 2020 / Accepted: 11 February 2020 / Published: 13 February 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecohydraulics of Pool-Type Fishways)
Fisheries in many tropical river-floodplain systems are under threat from physical obstructions caused by ongoing river infrastructure development. There is a growing need for innovative, cost-effective technologies to mitigate the impacts of these obstructions. This study examined the effectiveness of a new cone fishway for facilitating lateral migrations of river-floodplain fish communities in the Lower Mekong Basin in Lao PDR. We assessed the species richness, size range, abundance and biomass of fish able to pass through a cone fishway, using paired entrance and exit sampling during both dawn/day and dusk/night. Overall, a diverse range of taxa (76 species) and size classes (25–370 mm) ascended the cone fishway. The total size range of fishes observed at the fishway entrance was similar to that at the exit, although the fish at the entrance were significantly smaller (in length) than those at the exit, during both diel periods. Additionally, there were significantly higher abundances of fish at the entrance than at the exit, but there was no difference in total biomass, again for both periods. These results suggest that, with further development, the cone fishway design has considerable potential for facilitating the lateral migrations of diverse tropical river-floodplain fish communities at low/medium head infrastructure.
Keywords: fish passage; Lower Mekong Basin; river infrastructure; sustainable irrigation; wetland fish passage; Lower Mekong Basin; river infrastructure; sustainable irrigation; wetland
MDPI and ACS Style

Baumgartner, L.J.; Boys, C.; Marsden, T.; McPherson, J.; Ning, N.; Phonekhampheng, O.; Robinson, W.; Singhanouvong, D.; Stuart, I.G.; Thorncraft, G. A Cone Fishway Facilitates Lateral Migrations of Tropical River-Floodplain Fish Communities. Water 2020, 12, 513.

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