2004 – Borumba Dam Remedial Works and Successful Relocation of Fish and Turtles

J.Kelly, Dr Col Limpus, P. Richardson, S. Brooks

Borumba Dam, located on Yabba Creek in the upper reaches of the Mary Valley, experienced a 1 in 100 year flood event in February 1999.

A comprehensive inspection of the streambed downstream indicated significant erosion of the spillway chute foundation below normal tailwater level.

It was concluded that the integrity of the chute had not been compromised but that a future significant flood could result in the loss of support for the end of the chute with possible severe consequences. Remedial works required the complete dewatering of the streambed downstream of the spillway chute.

The paper will discuss the remedial works undertaken and in particular the successful relocation of 6000 fish and 187 turtles from the downstream erosion pool.

This operation was a joint effort involving EPA, DPI Fisheries and the local fishing club and provided research opportunities of the fish and turtle populations. A male and female of the endangered Mary River cod were trapped and transported to a community run fish hatchery, for inclusion in a national recovery plan lead research and a breeding program.

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