FBA's Shannon van Nunen and Cr Drew Wickerson inspecting a partially constructed fish hotel.
FBA's Shannon van Nunen and Cr Drew Wickerson inspecting a partially constructed fish hotel.

Something fishy about 10 new hotels in Rockhampton

PROVING hotels are not just for humans, the Fitzroy Basin Association Inc. (FBA) today installed fish hotels in the Yeppen Lagoon.

These 10 new structures, which consist of interconnected and stacked hardwood log towers, will provide habitat for juvenile fish.

FBA Senior Project Officer Shannon van Nunen said a recent fish habitat mapping study had revealed the Yeppen Lagoon has limited submerged large woody debris, which normally provides both an important food source as well as habitat for the lagoon's native freshwater fish. 

"Large woody debris is an important base for growing algae and other food sources for our native freshwater fish and the study showed the distribution of such debris was sparse and could be significantly improved,” Mr van Nunen said. 

"Installing fish hotels will have an immediate positive impact on the health of Yeppen Lagoon's freshwater habitats. The hotels act in a similar way to the artificial reefs installed along Queensland's coast, so we're applying that same idea but on a smaller scale,” he said.

Aquatic ecosystem and fish expert Tim Marsden, FBA's Shannon van Nunen and Cr Drew Wickerson inspecting the site where the fish hotel will be installed
Aquatic ecosystem and fish expert Tim Marsden, FBA's Shannon van Nunen and Cr Drew Wickerson inspecting the site where the fish hotel will be installed

With the help of Rockhampton Regional Council, providing access to the site for work to commence and through funding from the Australian Government's Reef Programme, FBA is installing the hotels in one of the Fitzroy Floodplains largest and deepest lagoons this week.  

Mr van Nunen said the fish hotels have space between the logs to allow fish movement, and will be filled with smaller timber to ensure they are suitable for a wide range of the lagoon's fish species. 

"The structures will be secured to the lagoon floor with concrete bases to anchor the fish hotels to the lagoon bed. This will help ensure they don't move or impact other infrastructure around the lagoon,” Mr van Nunen said. 



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