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Cone fishway

Cone fishway – Key considerations

Cone fishway examples: </br>
		1. Left: Concrete cone fishway (Little Bynoe River, Normanton) </br>
		2. Right: Plastic cone fishway at Reilly's Weir, Condamine River, Queensland  </br>
		Photo by Andrew Berghuis (1) and Andrea Prior (2)

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In addition to the general information for all fishway types, the following applies to cone fishways.

Suitability and limitations

Cone fishways have been recorded passing fish as small as 9 mm in length and are particularly useful where biopassage of small fish is a major ecological priority.[4] These fishways tend to have relatively low discharge and turbulence[3] and can often be built on a slightly steeper gradient than vertical slot fishways[2].

Cone fishways can replace rock ramp fishways, and can be particularly useful in existing culverts, pre-cast channels, areas where suitable rock is unavailable, and in remote areas[3].

Cones have been constructed from a range of materials, some original fishways trialled polyethylene plastic cones[1], more recent fishways have all utilised concrete[4].Cone fishways are relatively inexpensive with short on-ground construction times,[3] as much of the structure is prefabricated[3].

There are several cone fishways in central to northern coastal Queensland, including in the Northern Gulf, Southern Gulf, Fitzroy, and Mackay-Whitsunday region.

Disclaimer: In addition to the standard disclaimer located at the bottom of the page, please note the Fishways (biopassage structures) disclaimer.


  1. ^ Berghuis, AP (2010), Reilly’s Weir Fishway Monitoring Report August 2010, DEEDI, Bundaberg.
  2. ^ O'Connor, J, Stuart, I, Jones, M & Arthur Rylah Institute for Environmental Research (2017), Guidelines for the design, approval and construction of fishways. [online] Available at: [Accessed 25 February 2021].
  3. ^ a b c d O’Connor, J, Stuart, I & Mallen-Cooper, M (2015), 'Performance, operation and maintenance guidelines for fishways and fish passage works', Trove. [online] Available at: [Accessed 10 November 2020].
  4. ^ a b Stuart, IG & Marsden, TJ (2019), 'Evaluation of cone fishways to facilitate passage of small-bodied fish', Aquaculture and Fisheries. [online] Available at:

Last updated: 30 April 2021

This page should be cited as:

Department of Environment, Science and Innovation, Queensland (2021) Cone fishway – Key considerations, WetlandInfo website, accessed 18 March 2024. Available at:

Queensland Government
WetlandInfo   —   Department of Environment, Science and Innovation