Irrigation New Zealand

2019 – 2022: SFF 405972 Adoption of Good Practice Fish Screening Project

Fish screens design and installation involves significant investment. Given the large capital outlay ahead for irrigators, clear expectations need to be set around how to achieve effective fish screens, alongside the provision of greater certainty that the designers and installers of fish screens can achieve long-term compliance for irrigators.

In late 2019 IrrigationNZ (on behalf of the New Zealand Fish Screen Working Group*), received a grant from the Sustainable Farming Fund to further research fish screen design criteria. The aim of the research is to provide clear and simple guidance on fish screen requirements and provide solutions and guidance on existing fish screen deficiencies.

This work is helping to develop more effective fish screen designs by getting a better understanding of fish behaviour at intakes, improving design guidance and informing the development of appropriate future consent conditions.

To date the following has been completed:

  • Summary Status Report identifying gaps still to address and a status update of existing information including key new information now available since the original 2007 Fish Screening guidelines were published. This report incorporates relevant information from throughout New Zealand.
  • Identification of three sites suitable to address compliant design. These sites cover ‘typical intake locations’ and represent a range of flows and challenges. They are small to medium in size and exclude large takes. Agreement with landowners of the three sites to participate in the project has been been achieved, options reports and the technical design of the water intake for each location have been completed.
  • Field and Laboratory trial scope and design methodologies have been defined.
  • Year 1 Lab Trials have been completed and report now available.
  • Industry engagement workshop held April 2021.
  • Fish Screen Facility Guidance Tool available for use - refer box at the top right of the screen -V3 released May 23
  • Scheme engagement workshop held July 2021.
  • Year 2 Lab Trials completed and report available below.
  • Site visits to the Totora Valley and Awakino sites have been undertaken with Runanga representatives.
  • The trial site fish screen has been installed on the Awakino River. Six field trails were undertaken to test effectiveness and general functioning of the screen between December 2021 and June 2022. The report "Fish Screen Trial Report - Awakino River 2022" is now available below. 
  • Workshopping of real world examples of a variety of intake sites through the Fish Screen Facility Guidance Tool was completed in August 2022. The aim was to ensure designs that meet the seven key criteria with each site getting recommendations from the workshop.
  • Legislative Context report outlining who manages fish screens in New Zealand available below.
  • Policy and Practice report relating to fish screens in 2023 available below
  • Completion of final project report outlining key project findings and recommendations "Toward National Guidance for Fish Screen Facilities to Ensure Safe Passage for Freshwater Fishes" - see box on right
  • Two page Project Summary report completed
  • One day workshop on Design of Fish Screen Facilities at River Intakes completed June 2023

Information and reports will continue to be updated on this page as the project progresses

*The New Zealand Fish Screen Working Group is a subgroup of the Canterbury Water Management Strategy and consists of representatives from the following:

  • Environment Canterbury
  • IrrigationNZ
  • Fish and Game
  • Service Industry
  • Department of Conservation
  • Salmon Anglers Association
  • NIWA
  • Otago Regional Council
  • Irrigation Schemes
  • Ngai Tahu

Updated: June 2023

SFF405972 Project 2 Page Summary Report June 2023

SFF405972 Toward national guidance for fish screen facilities to ensure safe passage for freshwater fishes 2023

SFF405972 Legislative Context - who manages fish screening

SFF405972 Fish Screens - Policy and Practice 2023

SFF405972 - Fish Screen Field Trial Report - Awakino River 2022

TEMPLATE - Fish Screen Facility Guidance Tool - V3 May 2023

SFF405972 Fish Screen Lab Trial Report - Year 2

Approach Velocity Rationale - Adrian Meredith - ECan 2018

SFF405972 Industry Engagement Workshop - Project Manager Overview

SFF405972 Industry Engagement Workshop Presentation Richard Purdon

SFF405972 Industry Engagement Workshop - Fish Screen Criteria - Design Dilemmas

SFF405972 Totara Valley - Flat Screen Concept

SFF405972 Mead - Flat Screen Concept

SFF405972 Mead - Cylinder Screen Concept

SFF405972 Fish Screen Concept Options Report Levels Plain V2

SFF405972 Fish Screen Concept Options Report - Totara Valley V2

SFF405972 Fish Screen Concept Options Report - Mead V2

SFF405972 Lab Trial Design and Methodology - Year 2

SFF405972 Fish Screen Lab Trial Report - Year 1

SFF405972 Field Trial Design

SFF405972 Lab Trial – Red Dye

SFF405972 Lab Trial Design and Methodology - Year 1

SFF405972 Summary Status Report of Fish Screening Across NZ

Screen Evaluations Findings report

Fish Screening: Good practice guidelines

Selwyn DC screen evaluation

Acton screen evaluation

Mead screen evaluation

North Otago Irrigation Company screen evaluation

Totara Valley screen evaluation

Levels Plains screen evaluation draft report

DIDSON Monitoring at Levels Plain Intake letter

TEMPLATE - Fish Screen Facility Guidance Tool

The purpose of the Guidance Tool is to provide a process to assist landowners in the identification and selection of a preferred site and fish screen type when looking to install, replace or upgrade a fish screen.

NIWA 2007 Fish Screen Guidelines

MPI Fish Screen Final Project Report 2023

A report outlining project findings and recommendations, using the updated knowledge to review the 2007 NIWA guidelines.