Launceston’s Trevallyn Dam eel bypass is now an award-winning project, following the Australian Water Association (AWA) Tasmanian Water Awards.
The AWA’s Regional Infrastructure Project Award recognises leadership, research, programs and projects taking a unique approach that sets them apart, which is fitting for Australia’s first eel bypass.
Completed earlier this year, the Trevallyn Dam eel bypass is an innovative project that allows the endemic short-finned eel to travel downstream during their migration season, sending them on a journey all the way from the Tamar Estuary/kanamaluka to the Coral Sea off the coast of Queensland.
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Visitors to Trevallyn Dam between December and April will see the bypass operating as a small spray of water cascading down the dam’s western side.
Hydro Tasmania Senior Aquatic Scientist David Ikedife said the eels have previously migrated either over the dam during spills or through the Trevallyn Power Station, but the new bypass would have a positive impact.
“The short-finned eel is a remarkable and unusual species, and when we began this project not a lot was understood about them,” Mr Ikedife said.
“We were able to use sonar, and tagging and tracking to understand their behaviour, bringing scientific techniques from around the world, combined with the expertise of Hydro Tasmania’s own designers and engineers, to develop a bespoke solution.”
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“We expect this project will improve the sustainability of the species and ensure they are here for future generations.”
“It was a team effort from Hydro Tasmania and it shows just how seriously we take conservation and environmental management in our waterways.”
“We’d like to thank the AWA for their recognition amid some strong competition from the other entries.”
This year’s AWA Tasmanian Water Award winners will represent Tasmania in the national Australian Water Awards in Adelaide on 4-6 May 2021.