Hilliards Creek Fishway | Redland City Council

Dams and weirs can obstruct fish from moving along waterways. Recently, the old weir on Hilliards Creek was modified and a fishway was built to free the passage of fish up and down the creek. 

What is a fishway?

Fishways, also known as fish ladders or fish passes, are structures placed on or around constructed barriers (such as dams or weirs) to give fish the opportunity to migrate. The Hilliards Creek fishway is a man-made natural-looking, rock fishway where the weir was previously located. 

Where is the Hilliards Creek Fishway?

You can find the fishways along the creek pathway near Old Cleveland Road East, close to Ormiston College.

Hilliards creek fishway sign

How does a fishway work?

The fishway was built to cater for the size and swimming abilities of the many fish species that live in Hilliards Creek.  Rocks were placed like a set of stairs to create pools and small falls to cater for large fish while ensuring the flow is gentle enough for small fish.

  • Fish are attracted to the entrance with flowing water.
  • Fish pass through a series of slots and gaps that control the speed of water to ensure their safe passage.
  • Small pools within the fishway provide resting areas and shelter for fish.

Why is the fishway important?

Barrier to fauna passage prevent fish and other wildlife from freely migrating up and down the creek to spawn, feed and seek refuge from predators.

Fishways:

  • Re-connect fragmented habitats and improves the resilience of native fish populations.
  • Improve teh ability of native fish to move between estuarine and freshwater habitats to complete their life-cycle, such as the sea mullet (Mugil cephalus). Sea mullet migrate to the sea to breed and their young move back to freshwater to develop
  •  Improves the abundance, diversity and genetic fitness of local fish populations.

What fish will use the Hilliards fishway?

  • Eel-tailed catfish (Tandanus tandanus)
  • Bony bream (Nematalosa erebi)
  • Empire gudgeon (Hypseleotris compressa)
  • Firetail gudgeon (Hypseleotris galii)
  • Flyspecked hardyhead (Craterocephalus stercusmuscarum)
  • Freshwater mullet (Trachystoma petardi)
  • Long-finned eel (Anguilla reinhardtii)
  • Purple-spot gudgeon (Mogurnda adspersa)
  • Sea mullet (Mugil cephalus)
  • Spangled perch (Leiopotherapon unicolor)
  • Striped gudgeon (Gobiomorphus australis).

Fish population monitoring

Fish populations were monitored before the construction of the fishway determine the success of the new fishway for re-connecting fragmented aquatic habitat and improving native fish populations in Hilliards Creek. In 2019, community volunteers have started monitoring populations to reivew the success of the installation. 

Project partners

For more information about this Fishway, contact Redland City Council on (07) 3829 8999.

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