Fish Passage in the Lower Thukela

Monitoring of the efficiency of the Lower Thukela Bulk Water Supply Scheme fishway and environmental performance of the facility.

In this study, we aim to evaluate any habitat, water quality and flow related impacts of the Lower Thukela BulkWater Supply Scheme (LTBWSS)on the Lower Thukela River and Estuary, and monitor the performance of the fishway (vertical slot and creepy-crawly ramp) for fish and invertebrate migrations in the region.

  • Evaluate water quality, flows and habitat alterations of the Thukela River and Estuary associated with the LTBWSS and the impact of these changes to the wellbeing of the local river and estuary ecosystem, using fish, invertebrates and plants as ecological indicators, and
  • Evaluate the use of the fishway by fish and invertebrates and characterisation of the efficiency of the facility and any possible optimisation opportunities and or risks to the migration of ecological important organisms in the region.
  • Develop an environmental performance framework for the management and monitoring of the LTBWSS and performance of the LTBWSS fishway.

 

Client and/or collaborating stakeholders: Umgeni Water, Charles Sturt University, Karltech

Interesting and important outcomes/prospects: With this study, a better understanding of the use and protection requirements of the lower Thukela River and associated estuary will be developed.  This will contribute to the management of the environmental performance of the LTBWSS and regional water resources associated with the development.

For more information contact: BurnettM@ukzn.ac.za