Artificial Reef Habitat – West Lakes
You can fish recreationally in the artificial reef habitat at West Lakes 12. Our project aims to improve the fish habitat and promote positive, lawful recreational fishing.
The project received funding from the South Australian Recreational Fishing Grants Program. To ensure the success of the project, RecFish SA and the City of Charles Sturt worked together on the design and implementation of the reefs.
The floating reefs are a world first. They were designed specifically for lake, which has a soft sediment that could otherwise bury conventional reef structures over time.
In partnership with RecFish SA, we've successfully created 12 artificial reef units into the inlet side of West Lakes. The reefs are expected to promote the health of the lake, improve the fish habitat and grow fish populations.
The new reefs have been strategically placed to increase positive fishing from Inlet Reserve and increase the fish population in the lake. The reserve is an ideal family fishing spot with a playground, public toilets and a fish cleaning station.
About the Reefs
Two contrasting styles of fish habitat were chosen in order to increase biodiversity and test if local species prefer a certain design.
Both designs provide not only juvenile fish habitat but also food-generating surfaces that support a range of sessile organisms like oysters and sponges, and mobile organisms like small shrimp and crabs.
The largest unit is a fish tower (1.3m high x 0.7 to 1.6m wide). The fish tower has many openings that fish can enter and exit to avoid predators. Fish like the shade and hiding places under horizontal wing-like awnings. The fish tower is long enough to reduce the chance of territorial disputes among fish.
The Fish Urchin resembles a long spined urchin (1m x 1.3m). It has over 20 sand coated composite rods and recycled plastic plates for protection and colonisation. This unit will suit the smaller fish and oysters.