NSW DPI-NSW Recreational Fishing Trust grant, $253,165. Total budget of the project is $314,490.
Dr Tahmid Nayeem, Dr Nick Pawsey, Associate Professor of Research Dr Lee Baumgartner
The main objective of this project is to promote pump screens to NSW user groups. These screens not only protect pumps from impeller clogging, lost suction, and pump wear, they prevent fish from being sucked through the pump. The screens utilise an internal backwash system able to blow debris off and away from the screens, and allow the water to flow freely to the pump.
This project will involve interviews and focus groups with a wide range of potential and current screen users (i.e. irrigation farmers, water businesses, Local land Services) and other stakeholders across NSW.
An analysis of these interviews and focus groups will allow the researchers to understand the level of awareness of pump screening options; the economic, social and environmental drivers of adoption; the overall value proposition for different potential user groups; and help determine the most appropriate methods/channels of disseminating pump screening information to potential users and other stakeholders.
As Oregon in the U.S. is regarded as a world leader for pump screen utilisation, the researchers will participate in a study tour in Oregon, and, as part of that tour, attend a Fish Screening Task Force meeting in 2020.
A Pump Screen Communication Plan will be finalised within the first 12 months of the project. The plan will be refined throughout the project in response to research findings and other feedback and will include an engaging calendar.
A Pump Screen website will be developed to promote pump technologies; screening costs and benefits; relevant screening research; showcase site results, and other information. Other communication channels will include media releases, information sheets, and social media.
In years 2, 3, 4 and 5 of the project Pump Screen Workshops will be hosted at various locations in NSW.
Across the five year project, an annual survey will be used to monitor screen uptake levels, awareness levels and screen user attitudes towards the benefits and challenges of screen installation and use.
The expected outcome of this project is a better understanding of pump screens and greater use which will result in less fatalities in native fish populations.
Dr Tahmid Nayeem, Albury-Wodonga campus