Turtles snap up move as Warren water access closes


Turtles snap up move as Warren water access closes

On-water access at Warren Reservoir is now temporarily closed for visitors, to enable the reservoir’s gradual emptying and native fish relocation as part of SA Water’s $8 million upgrade of the dam’s intake and scour valves.

While the on-water closure remains in place until September, visitors will still be able to explore the reserve’s eastern nine-kilometre trail loop, with the southern car park and amenities remaining open.

To relocate the reservoir’s native fish – including Murray Cod, Golden Perch and Silver Perch – and remove its noxious species, commercial fishers have begun working on the water to catch an estimated 16,000 fish.

SA Water’s Senior Manager of Capital Delivery Peter Seltsikas said along with the fish, Warren’s native long-neck turtles will soon be moved into South Para Reservoir.

“We identified at least 30 long-neck turtles during our recent fish study and they’ll be ‘coming out of their shell’ and swapping postcodes, as part of our work to safely relocate the reservoir’s native fish,” Peter said.

“With the reservoir’s water level now sitting below 20 per cent capacity, commercial fishers have begun their six-week operation which includes a combination of electrofishing and power hauling, working from six boats.

“Electrofishing is a safe method that briefly stuns the fish so they can be netted, whereas power hauling is the use of a large mechanical net which is pulled through the water to collect a larger number of fish.

“In April, the reservoir will be lowered even further to enable the power hauling to take place, with the water’s dissolved oxygen levels closely monitored and temporary aerators deployed to help manage fish health and reduce stress during this time.

“The fish will be sorted by allowing native fish to swim to the top of the net and manually scooping them out into aeration tanks, keeping them comfortable while they’re transported and released at South Para.

“We’re also taking the opportunity to remove noxious fish species, such as Carp and Redfin, and provide them to fish markets or fertiliser suppliers.

“Once the relocation is complete and the reservoir’s at near zero capacity, our crews will start working at the dam wall to remove the current series of valves and prepare for the installation of new valves.

“While there’s no water access at Warren, I encourage anyone keen for a paddle or fish, to check out South Para Reservoir Reserve, which has welcomed local business Barossa Outdoors for the duration of our project.”





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