The shocking reality of inadequate DPI Research
fish ladders may not work








Environmental -- Fish Lock -- Systems


Site Map

Contact Us

Kel Gordon's new sci fi adventure

Fish Lock Update


In Australian Rivers, there are over 7000 damming structures. These are, at best, totally inadequate for the successful passage of native fish.

The direct result of these structures is that native fish populations are as low as 10% of what is considered as normal prior to 1788.

Aquafarmer is proud to represent a new company established to provide efficient fish migrations over weirs and damming obstacles.


Fish kills can be prevented now!

But not using stupid fish ladders and elevated cages.



Welcome to our exciting new product:

The Fish Lock


We have a new and patented design that may be of interest as a function of water and environmental management. In short our company designs and constructs an efficient fish lock for use in overcoming migration issues for both dams and weirs..


The use of inefficient fish ladder designs in Australian waterways has had a disastrous impact on wild fish numbers. Reports indicate fish numbers could be as low as 10% of what they should be. Our fish lock design overcomes survival issues.


The new company consists of experienced design and construction engineers complimenting proven aquatic biology based technology for both animal and environment friendly fish lock designs.


The above combination of skills and experience have been combined with professional waterway and dam construction engineers to provide a complete turn key package for the Fish Lock System.


The fish lock design was developed in the 1980’s on Mr Gordon’s fish farm, Hallidays Point Fish Farm and Hatchery, as a capture device for exporting fingerlings and broodstock of Australian Native Fish Species.

Its use in fish farming allowed for capture of small and large fish without physical damage or stress and follow-on disease issues. The fish lock design had been basically left on the shelf until very recently when a Queensland ABC radio program discussed concerns over fish strandings associated with an inefficient fish ladder system in the Wide Bay area. We felt we could help.

“Mr Gordon’s fish behaviour and fish transportation experience was noted in the success of a television commercial for Sony in the late ninties. He acted as the fish wrangler and supplied and managed the 200 mature fish used in the world acclaimed add for the row boat with the TV in the seat and a dragon fly on the screen”. The caption was; “it was so life like the fish just jumped into the boat”

The live fish were on and off the set many times over a three day period with no damage or stress. After the shoot the fish were on-sold to a winery in the Hunter Valley of NSW.

Our Aquafarmer Australia group felt there was a need for a cost efficient alternative fish transfer system relative to Australian Native Fish species.

Our fish lock system has been proven, commercially, on many fish species and is basically a function of correct flow.


World- wide, Fish Locks are a proven system for efficient fish movements but they can be costly and can require high maintenance. Our design over comes those issues.

Fish kill in Qld

Common Fish Kill at the base of a fish ladder.



The Fish Lock Design.....Simplicity at Work





Firstly our Fish Lock design is based on fish behavioral traits which encourages fish movements through the application of water flow. Our Fish Lock design successfully addresses behavioural issues, which we refer to as reducing the zone of perceived predation. Basically, this means the design offers a secure environment.


The Fish Lock also addresses stress and crowding issues often associated with fish strandings at the base of damming obstacles. The flow characteristics maintain water quality parameters while providing directional indications to stimulate fish movements.


The Fish Lock is suited to considerable variations in water levels and can be expanded in modules to allow passage over significant dam walls. Flexibility is important as no two weirs or dams are the same. Each situation requires an individual design and construction variation. Our Fish Lock accommodates those requirements.


The Fish Lock has a sophisticated and patent pending control system which is compatible with SCADA (supervisory control and data acquisitions) systems. Our control system is built in Newcastle in our factory along side our water quality and data logging equipment. Our control system provides remote control and monitoring of operational status as well as data logging of water quality parameters, flow rates water levels and last but not least, fish numbers.


The control system incorporates a fish counting device in each chamber to monitor and compare overall fish movements.


The Fish Lock can be fully operated on solar or grid power supply with single phase utilizing, 10 or 15 amp circuitry.


The control system can be set to various operational times or shut down and closed or left opened to allow continuous flow. Basically, the operator has complete control from fully closed to fully open and any variations in between.


In any water flow situation, our fish lock is designed to provide adequate flexibility and variable control applications with practical construction costs and minimal maintenance issues.


Variable control over the Fish Lock operation creates the application of programmable water consumption and flow rate data logging. Applications highly suited to the Australian environment and rainfall patterns.


Water consumption per operational discharge is variable in respect to the design application and therefore, size of fish lock chambers. Each weir situation will vary as no two locations are the same.


As an example of application, the initial Queensland site mentioned earlier would have an initial estimated discharge of between 50,000 and 100,000 litres and, at peak times, may require 10-20 discharges per 24 hour period. Therefore, in that design, we anticipated a maximum controlled discharge, of 1-2 megalitres per day during peak seasonal periods.


The variable control aspect also allows for the application of seasonal programming which better caters to the seasonal breeding and movement patterns of coastal catadromous fish species.


Our patent pending programmable control system is easily accessed, on-site, via a secure stainless steel enclosure and solar tower. The control system can be switched between various operational time settings and presets. These functions are also accessible remotely via a system similar to SCADA control systems. The Fish Lock control system can be accessed, monitored and operated via a laptop and the internet in any location.


Our Fish Lock system is suitable for fish of any species and of a size up to at least 800mm in width and 2 meters in length and down to fertilized eggs.


In consultation with our civil engineers, the chamber structures are designed and constructed to the exacting standards required and, we place great significance on environmental issues and requirements during a construction phase.


We use the highest grade of stainless for our gate valve components which have an expected maintenance free life of approximately 20 years. Our gate valves are patent pending.


We can provide the complete construction, operation and maintenance of the fish lock or any part there of to compliment local business.


We can provide individual fish lock design application for any situation.


We can also provide our experienced project management team to head up or assist at any fish lock construction locations world wide.


We can provide the complete turn-key construction, operation and maintenance of the fish lock or any part there of to compliment local business. Our civil engineering staff have a vast pool of knowledge in dam and weir construction.


Our Fish Lock design is basic. However, its size and shape incorporates physiological subtly. Its two chambers, openings and series of valves allow water to navigate variations in height with minimal disruption to natural environmental integrity.


These adaption’s, in subtle design and construction features, provide a ‘safe environment’ for efficient fish transfer, reduce biological stress and associated flight and fight response while providing minimal operation costs and water consumption.


Our system is called the Fish Lock but is more easily imagined as the fish unlock.


Kind Regards

Kel Gordon
Mob. Ph. O458427520

Managing Director

Aquafarmer Australia


Foot Note

DPI research has been irresponsible in allowing inefficient designs.

System stakeholders have been irresponsible as the above picture shows. These mortalities are totally preventable and are the main reason carp have been able to flourish as inefficient designs select for introduced species. These structures are directly responsible for the decline of native fish species.

If river system management had provided proper research we would not be annually inundated with 'unfortunate' fish kills.

Aquafarmer can no longer watch as incompetent government research provides jobs for the converted bureaucracy as our native fish continue to die from unnecessary stranding stress.

Our requests for a meeting have been ignored.. Our attempts to have an input have been discarded.

Sadley an efficient cost effective design may never see the light of day.. That is until DPI copies it.. Such is life Ned...


Site Map

Contact Us

Kel Gordon's new sci fi adventure