Swimming performance traits of twenty-one fish species: A fish passage management tool for use in modified freshwater systems.

Date: 09, Mar, 2020
Author(s):   Watson, J. R., Goodrich, H. R., Cramp, R. L., Gordos, M. A., Yan, Y. Ward, P. J., Franklin, C. E.
Publisher: TSR Hub

Effective fish passage requires reliable data on swimming performance to ensure native fish can swim through existing waterway infrastructure or purpose built fishways. Unfortunately, such information has been lacking until recently for most Australian fish species. We undertook a comprehensive assessment of the swimming performance of 21 species of Australian native freshwater fish. Species were chosen to encompass a wide range of body shapes, swimming styles and lifestyles. We focused on small species and juveniles of larger growing fish as they typically cannot swim as fast as larger fish. These 21 species are able to act as proxies for other untested, rare or Endangered species that share similar traits. This research provides high-quality scientific data that is specific to Australian fish species to support the decisions of fisheries management and civil engineers designing culverts and other waterway infrastructure. The quantified values we established for fish swimming performance can be directly applied to set velocity guidelines when designing artificial instream structures.