Invasive management in the upper Thukela

Spring Grove Dam and Inchbrakie : Monitoring of the efficiency of the artificial Inchbrakie falls fish barrier on the Mooi river and environmental performance of the facility.

In this study, we aim to evaluate the efficiency of the artificial fish barrier on the Mooi river upstream of Inchbrakie falls and the environmental performance of the facility. Four objectives have been determined :

  1. Evaluate the fish communities and population structures within Spring Grove Dam. This will contribute to our understanding of the trends in community and population structures associated with the operation of the dam,
  2. Evaluate the operation of the fish barrier in the context of the OMP and establish the efficiency of the structure in achieving the intended purpose of preventing the migration of bass up the Mooi River from Spring Grove Dam,
  3. Characterise the fish communities and associated populations structures in the Mooi River upstream of the fish barrier, below the barrier and below Spring Grove Dam, and evaluate the risk of, and consequences of the invasion of the upper Mooi River by bass.
  4. Provide dam fisheries management and monitoring recommendations.

 

Client and/or collaborating stakeholders: Umgeni Water

 

Interesting and important outcomes/prospects: This study will determine the level of compliance in fulfilling the requirements of the Operational Management Plan for the fish barrier, reporting on environmental performance. Findings from the study will report on the whether or not the fish barrier is appropriately maintained, and also to determine the relative effect (or success / failure) of the barrier in achieving the intended outcome of preventing Smallmouth bass from migrating into the upper reaches of the Mooi River system, threatening the local Trout population.  The study will also contribute to the management of the facilities and knowledge of fisheries and communities in the region.

 

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