The Sabie River in South Africa is home to a high diversity of conservationally important and sensitive fish species which include the internationally Near Threatened Mozambique tilapia (Oreochromis mossambicus) and Endangered Lowveld largemouth (Serranochromis meridianus) as well as the locally protected Southern barred minnow (Opsaridium peringueyi) and Tigerfish(Hydrocynis vittatus). However the catchment is becoming increasingly plagued by numerous impacts from upstream and downstream activities, including the immenent raising of the Corumana Dam wall which is expected result in the indundation of a critically important habitat for many of the local fishes. In an effort to contribute toward actively protecting the fish species in the Sabie, this practical study will be initiated in collaboration with a parellel study (already existing), which aims to assess the ecological consequences of the Corumana manmade Lake.
For this Sabie River Vision, the aim is to setup a practical vision and strategy on river connectivity for the next 15 years for the section of the Sabie River catchment, situated upstream of the Corumana Lake in the Kruger Park. The key principle of this Vision is to pave the way to initiate active rehabilitation and conservation. The main focus will be to seek as many opportunities as possible for improvement and to identify practical/cost effective solutions that will also incorporate local stakeholder involvement. The study will contribute toward protecting fish species by initially concentrating on the improvements associated with in-stream barriers. This study will be a collaboration with local universities, organisations and regional authorities and will form part of the island in a sea of dams initiative.
The Foundation is working closely together with the KwaZulu Natal University, to identify areas of concern and to arrange a workshop to further develop a stategic plan together with stakeholders in the area including Kruger National Park and catchment managment agencies. Together we hope to build working relationships, create opportunites for improvement and to set in motion community and stakholder involvement.