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Council offers free fix for faulty culverts

May 5th, 2014

Tasman District Council is offering to remediate any culverts on private rural land that have become barriers to the passage of freshwater fish.

Trevor James, TDC's Resource Scientist in the Environment and Planning Department, is on a mission to improve the health and biodiversity of the district's streams.

"Over the last 10 years I have come to realise the significance of structures in streams that block fish migration," he says.

"Relatively few people realise that fish cannot get past structures that are undercut or have concentrated fast water and this has a major impact on the biodiversity of our streams.

"If you have culverts in a stream please let me know if any undercut or perched, and we can put you on the list to have them fixed for free."

Anyone who has such a culvert is invited to join TDC's 'Show us your culvert' promotion. Not only will they get the culvert fixed, they will go in the draw for spot prizes. They only need to send in a photo of their undercut culvert to enter.

Trevor has been active in restoring fish passage to streams where there were barriers to fish migration. "We have assessed about 1300 structures, mostly culverts and weirs, and found about 30% were barriers or an impedance to fish passage. We have restored fish passage to almost 300 of these.

"However, most of these restorations are on public roads and we know there are a lot of barriers out there on private properties. We would really like to raise awareness about this issue, and Council offers a service to restore fish passage at no cost."

To enter during May or June, take a photo from downstream of your culvert barrier, put your name and address on it, and email it to or drop it into your nearest Council service centre or library.


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