Monitoring has shown the spring environmental flow release below the Goulburn Weir near Nagambie has stimulated some Golden perch (yellow belly) breeding in the Goulburn River.
Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority project manager Simon Casanelia said the spring environmental flow release began on Friday the 10th of October and peaked at about 8,500 ML/d at Murchison on Wednesday the 22nd of October.
“The aim of the first spring flow is to help re-establish native vegetation on the lower river banks and improve water bug populations that native fish feed on” Mr Casanelia said. “Commonwealth funded monitoring for the lower Goulburn River has shown the flows have also stimulated some Golden perch (yellow belly) breeding, which is very exciting.”
“Golden perch usually start breeding later in year during a high flow event and when river water temperatures are higher, but recent warm weather has increased water temperatures in the lower Goulburn River sufficiently to provide suitable conditions to stimulate some breeding.”
“A second spring environmental flow release is planned for mid-November to further stimulate Golden perch breeding.” He said.
The environmental flows use a combination of Commonwealth and Living Murray environmental water, are planned by the Goulburn Broken CMA and managed by Goulburn-Murray Water. These flows take into consideration delivery orders by irrigators and other water users.
The Victorian Environmental Water Holder prioritised these water releases as part of its Seasonal Watering Plan 2014-15 ,which aims to improve river and wetland health across the State.
The Living Murray is a joint initiative funded by the New South Wales, Victorian, South Australian, Australian Capital Territory and Commonwealth governments, coordinated by the Murray–Darling Basin Authority.
For more information about the project phone Simon Casanelia on 58 22 7700 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo: Freshwater Fish Ecologists from the Arthur Rhylah Institute confirmed Golden perch had spawned by hatching 2 eggs that were discovered during larval drift surveys on the Goulburn River this week.
Photo: Checking for Golden perch eggs during Larval Drift surveys in the Goulburn River at McCoys Bridge