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Dry and heat affect creeks

Friday 25 January, 2019
Ongoing hot dry weather is taking its toll on a number of creeks across the Goulburn Broken catchment.

Goulburn Broken CMA River Health Manager Mark Turner said waterways, including Hughes, Hollands, King Parrot, Seven and Castles creeks and the lower Broken River had sections with very low or no flows.

“Our staff has been liaising with partner agencies to monitor water quality in creeks and rivers across the catchment for the past few months due to the below-average rainfall and extreme heat,’’ Mr Turner said.

“Some parts of the catchment received a small boost after rain in mid-December but given the dry conditions we’re experiencing there has been very little run-off into many of the region’s waterways. This recent spate of heat has seen many of the smaller creeks and waterways, which rely solely on rainfall and run-off for their flows, slow to a trickle.”

Mr Turner said at this stage there had been no reports of native fish deaths in the catchment.

“The main risks to native fish are a drop in oxygen levels in the water as it warms up and becoming stranded in small, unconnected pools.

“Native fish and other aquatic wildlife generally try and move to shaded areas and deeper water during warmer weather, which is why the work we do with the community to re-snag and revegetate waterways to create and link cooler, deeper pools is so important.

“Rain and run-off are the only ways to improve flows in most of these creeks. While we hope there is some decent rainfall on the horizon the Bureau of Meteorology is predicting below average rainfall and hotter conditions for the rest of summer.”

Fish deaths should be reported to the EPA Hotline on 1300 372 842.

Goulburn Broken CMA is continuing to work with GMW, GVW, EPA and other agencies to monitor water conditions across the catchment.

Information about activities Goulburn Broken CMA supports to improve waterway health can be found at www.gbcma.vic.gov.au  Information on river and stream flows can be accessed via the Bureau of Meteorology’s website www.bom.gov.au