Gariep Dam (Hendrik verwoerd Dam)under construction
Teebus tunnel under construction
Typical concrete lined duct being constructed
Gariep Dam construction
Cookhoue tunnel (Somerset East side)
The Great Fish River Irrigation Board was established in 1920 and was converted into the Great Fish River Water Users' Association in 2000. The GFRWUA is also affiliated to Agri-Eastern Cape.
The Great Fish River is called “Great” to distinguish it from the Namibian Fish River. The river runs 644 kilometers through the Eastern Cape Province. The coastal area in the vicinity of its mouth is known as the Sunshine Coast. The Great Fish River was originally named Rio de Infante, after João Infante, the captain of one of the caravels of Bartholomeu Dias. Infante visited the river in the late 1480’s.
The Great Fish River originates north-east of Graaff-Reinet in the Sneeuberg and runs through Cradock. Further to the south, the Tarka River joins its left bank. From there it makes a zig-zag turn to Cookhouse, from where it meanders further down the escarpment east of Grahamstown before its final near-straight run to its estuary 8 km north-east of Seafield, into the Indian Ocean.
The river is generally permanent due to constant supply through the Orange-Fish Transfer Scheme, having water all year round within the areas supplied by the scheme. The natural flow is low and mostly seasonal.
Its main tributaries are the Great Brak River, the Tarka River and the Kat River on the left side, and the Little Fish River (Afrikaans: Klein-Visrivier) on the right side. The Great Fish River is part of the Fish-to-Tsitsikamma Water Management Area.