Project final report

Quantifying biophysical and community impacts of improved fish passage in Lao PDR and Myanmar - Final Report

Date released
01 August 2022
Publication Code

Lee Baumgartner, Peter Collier, John Conallin, Nathan Ning, Wayne Robinson, Bethany Cooper, Lin Crase, Khampheng Homsombath, Douangkham Singhanouvong, Oudom Phonekhampheng, Garry Thorncraft, Tim Marsden


This project aimed to rehabilitate declining capture fisheries in Laos and Myanmar through facilitating greater adoption of fishway technology in the Lower Mekong and Ayeyarwady Basins.

Often the main source of protein and cash income for river communities, long-term sustainability of vital capture fisheries is threatened from increased water development projects which block important migration pathways for fish seeking access to critical nursery and feeding habitats. Detailed barrier-mapping has shown more than 8000 barriers to fish migration in just three tributary catchments. 

This project evaluated the extent of fish migration barriers and the colonisation of riverine species in seasonal wetlands; quantifying whether there is an annual increase in capture fishery production at sites where fishways have been constructed; quantifying in social and economic terms, the options for constructing fishways at riverine infrastructure; and promoted the uptake of project outputs to other Mekong countries and rivers in South-East Asia, especially in Myanmar.

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