Reducing the impact of irrigation pumps on fish

A new NSW DPI project aims to reduce the impacts of irrigation pumps on fish communities by developing protective screens preventing the extraction of native fish from main river systems.

Work recently completed by Aquatic Ecosystems Unit has shown that up to 200 fish can be extracted daily by each irrigation pump in the Murray-Darling Basin.

This rate of extraction is likely to have a significant impact on fish communities, especially in those rivers that have substantial irrigation infrastructure.

Taking these results to the next stage will commence in April 2008 via a 3-year project funded by the Murray-Darling Basin Commission.

The project will be led by Dr Lee Baumgartner and will involve the collaboration of researchers and irrigators to ensure sustainable outcomes for all concerned.