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Cone fishway

Cone fishway – Planning and design

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.

For some sites, fish passage can be better facilitated and possibly have a lower capital cost by installing two fishways with separate ecological/hydrological functions[2]. For example, a cone fishway installed adjacent the existing vertical slot fishway on the Fitzroy Barrage (Rockhampton) extended passage of small fish from 10% to 80%, and exponentially increased the number of fish passing per annum[1].


Cone fishways typically have a relatively gentle slope of 1:21 (vertical:horizontal)[3].

Water velocity

Water velocity is related to head loss. The vertical drop between each baffle/pool, the size (volume) of the pool, and the width of the channel and cones determines the turbulence and velocity parameters of the fishway, which in turn determine the size and species of fish that can utilise a fishway. An 80 mm head drop between each baffle has been used in cone fishways.

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


  1. ^ Marsden, T, Berghuis, A & Stuart, I (2017), Fitzroy Barrage Cone Fishway Upgrade and Monitoring Report. [online], Report to the Fitzroy Basin Association, Fisheries Collective. Available at:
  2. ^ 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].
  3. ^ 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 – Planning and design, WetlandInfo website, accessed 18 March 2024. Available at:

Queensland Government
WetlandInfo   —   Department of Environment, Science and Innovation