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Improving fish passage in Hawke’s Bay

Improving fish passage in Hawke’s Bay

Fish Passage Restoration Project.

Several teams at Hawke’s Bay Regional Council are working together to help fish get up and around structures in Hawke’s Bay rivers.

Fish passage expert Kelly Hughes is visiting Hawke’s Bay early in May and will be working with Engineering and Science staff from HBRC to improve fish passage around structures, some of which are operated by HBRC.

HBRC’s Environmental Science Manager Dr Stephen Swabey is supporting Mr Hughes visit to Hawke’s Bay and welcomes the opportunity for HBRC to learn from an expert in this kind of work.

“There’s good news here,” says Dr Swabey.

“We’re pleased that ‘fish passage expert’ Kelly Hughes is coming to the Bay to work with us on some of the challenging local structures in place. Mr Hughes has extensive experience improving the ability of fish to access the upper parts of catchments, which increases the amount of habitat available to a range of native species.”

Mr Hughes will look at some opportunities to improve known obstacles for fish and help HBRC staff identify appropriate solutions. The locations being investigated include Tūtira, Poukawa, Muddy Creek, Pakipaki and the Mangarau Stream at Havelock North.

Physical fish passage solutions typically enable fish to migrate freely between river systems and the sea. Typical solutions include fish-friendly flood gates, ramps, geotextile coverings of structures or specially-designed channels. Different fish species may use different methods to climb through or around structures.

This work is part of an initiative undertaken with iwi to reduce the barriers to fish passage in Hawke’s Bay. The outcome will be suitable fish passage elements around structures, and better planning for structures that may be built in future.

Kelly Hughes will be onsite with HBRC staff 6-7th May 2014.
World Fish Migration Day is 24th May 2014.


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