COUNTLESS thousands of fish annually are expected to be retained in creeks and rivers following the installation of Australia's first fish exclusion screens in the Gunbower Creek at Cohuna.
Fish and larvae swimming into the channel system are unable to return to the creek or able to enter the Murray River and many are either lost in irrigation pumps or flushed onto paddocks in irrigation water.
Four cone fish screens, each weighing 28 tonnes were lowered into position in the Gunbower Creek on Friday.
They were installed in front of the Number 3 Offtake in the Cohuna weir pool to prevent fish and weeds entering the channel offtake.
A sheet pile wall and manifolds will be installed over the next week before the creek water level increases prior to the start of the next irrigation season
Cohuna engineering firm, AWMA Australia partnered with the North Central Catchment Management Authority to design, construct and install Australia's first conical fish exclusion screen through the Cohuna Irrigation Diversion Screen Project. Funding for the project has been provided by the Victorian Environmental Water Holder.
AWMA managing director, Brett Kelly said that 600ML/d will pass through 3-millimetre wedge wire screens with a head loss of less than 20 millimetres.
For more information pick up this week's edition of the Gannawarra Times.