Environmental flows stimulate significant native fish breeding event in the Goulburn River

Monitoring has shown the second of two spring environmental flow releases in the lower Goulburn River triggered hundreds of Golden perch (Yellow belly) to spawn from Murchison to the Murray.

Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority (CMA) Environmental Water Co-ordinator Meegan Judd said the flow commenced at Goulburn Weir on Saturday, November 15, and rose to approximately 7,800 ML/day at Murchison on Thursday, November 20.

“This very successful breeding response builds on the achievement of last year’s environmental flow that triggered Golden perch spawning, and it will complement last month’s environmental flow, which also resulted in some Golden perch spawning.”  Ms Judd said. 

The flows used Commonwealth environmental water and transfers of water trade to the Murray River. 

Part of a Commonwealth Government long term environmental water monitoring program that has recently commenced is measuring the breeding response of Golden perch and other fish species to the environmental flows. Monitoring occurs in spring and focuses on larvae, and then again in autumn to detect any new recruits.

Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder David Papps said “Native fish, including Golden perch, have been in decline for many years now and we are keen to see whether well timed flows are improving the conditions throughout the Goulburn, so that native fish are able to move through the system to ultimately breed and grow.”

The environmental flows are planned by the Goulburn Broken CMA, and managed by Goulburn Murray Water in line with the Victorian Environmental Water Holder’s (VEWH) Seasonal Watering Plan 2014-15 which aims to improve river and wetland health across the State.  Environmental water delivery also takes into consideration delivery orders by irrigators and other water users.

For more information visit

The VEWH Seasonal Watering Plan 2014-15 is available at

Goulburn Murray Water publishes river flow forecasts on its website at

Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder

Golden Perch  eggs

November's environmental flows triggered Golden perch spawning