Melbourne Water is undertaking works to modify a concrete ford crossing in Darebin Parklands to improve fish passage in the lower reaches of Darebin Creek.

What is a fish ladder?

Fish ladders, also known as fishways or fish passes, are structures placed on or around constructed or natural barriers (such as dams, weirs, ford crossings and waterfalls) to give fish the opportunity to migrate.

Typical concrete rock ramp fishway
A typical concrete rock ramp fishway

Why is this project important?

Under the 2018-28 Healthy Waterways Strategy, the concrete ford crossing on Darebin Creek in Alphington has been identified as a major barrier that prevents fish from being able to swim upstream. By making modifications to the crossing, we’ll be improving the ability of native fish such as Common Galaxias and Short Finned Eel to move freely through the creek system to spawn, feed and seek refuge. Their migration from freshwater to estuarine environments is important to ensure the diversity and spread of native fish species in our rivers and creeks.

What will the works involve?

We’ll be installing a series of carefully designed rockwork downstream of the concrete structure, which will enable fish to pass around the barrier by swimming up a sequence of relatively low steps (hence the term ‘fish ladder’) into the waters on the other side. We’ll also be making the stepping stones safer for people to hop across.

Timing

Works will be carried out from early April 2022 and will take 4-6 weeks to complete (subject to weather conditions).

Work hours will be between 7am and 6pm Monday to Friday.

What to expect during the works

While we will make every effort to ensure inconveniences are kept to a minimum, there will be some localised impacts, including:

  • Temporary closure of the crossing to the public. We encourage people to use an alternative crossing point over Darebin Creek.
  • Construction vehicle movements in Yarana Road for access to the works zone.
  • Minor noise from trucks and other vehicles, machinery and generators to power pumps and other equipment.
  • Trimming and removal of some trees and shrubs along the creek bank to enable access for machinery and equipment. After the works have been completed, we’ll replace the vegetation that was removed by re-planting trees and shrubs in the local area.

Location map of works zone

Darebin Creek fishway map

Melbourne Water thanks the community for their patience and understanding while we complete these important works.

Last updated:
6 April 2022