Upstream migration of juvenile stages of temperate Australian amphidromous fish typically coincides with seasonally low river discharge when hydraulic (e.g. cascades) and physical (e.g. rock bars) barriers may be common. The ability to 'climb' or 'jump' may be expected to assist in negotiating low-flow barriers; however, it is presumed to be limited to a few native Australian freshwater fishes. Juvenile stages of Galaxias truttaceus Valenciennes, 1846 were observed 'climbing' and 'jumping' to successfully negotiate a low, vertical weir wall during their upstream recruitment migrations in south-western Australia. Based on this observation, we propose initial definitions for 'climbing' and 'jumping' to describe locomotory strategies employed by fishes to negotiate obstacles that would otherwise prevent free passage by normal swimming behaviour. Greater knowledge of the climbing, jumping and swimming performance, especially for small-bodied species and early life stages, will help improve the management of instream barriers for this critically endangered species and other freshwater fishes of southern Australia. © CSIRO 2014.