Irrigation New Zealand

2019 – 2022: SFF 405972 Adoption of Good Practise 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 is a two year project and includes identifying knowledge/data gaps, consideration of biological criteria, technical, engineering and design considerations, manufacturing and installation, maintenance and operations, laboratory and field trials, and compliance and planning matters. In addition, industry extension to improve current design and installation capability to meet the impending demands of abstractors who are required to bring their screens up to standard, or for those installing new screen arrangements and need certainty around the effectiveness of their screen, post installation and an education component are included.

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 ben achieved and preliminary site assessments undertaken.
  • Field and Laboratory trial scope and design methodologies have been defined.
  • Year 1 Lab Trials have been conducted with some interesting results with fish behaviours present. Full reporting to still be completed.

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: 10 June 2020

SFF405972 Field Trial Design

SFF405972 Lab Trial – Red Dye

SFF405972 Lab Trial Design and Methodology

SFF405972 DRAFT 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