The first of two spring environmental flow releases from Goulburn Weir near Nagambie is due to begin on Friday, October 10.
Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority (CMA) Environmental Water Co-ordinator Meegan Judd said the aim of the flow was to help re-establish vegetation on the lower river banks and improve the water bug populations that native fish feed on. This flow is timed earlier than previous years to improve the chances of seed germination and plant establishment before the hot summer weather.
“The flow will peak about 8,500 ML/day at Murchison by Monday, October 20 and then reduce back to minimum flows of about 1,000ML/day by Wednesday, November 5,” Ms Judd said.
The flow will occur at McCoy’s Bridge about four days after being released from Goulburn Weir. The flow will see river heights in the Goulburn River rise to a maximum of 4m at Murchison, 5.5m at Shepparton and 5m at McCoy’s Bridge as measured at each local gauge.
The second fresh is planned to start at Goulburn Weir on Saturday, November 15, rise to 8,500 ML/day by Wednesday, November 19 at Murchison, and return to minimum flows by Tuesday, November 25.
“This second fresh is aimed at stimulating Golden perch (yellow belly) spawning,” Ms Judd said. “It builds on the success of last year’s environmental flow that triggered Golden perch spawning.”
The flows along the Goulburn will be finished before the Murray cod season opens. Flow levels and timing may vary depending on weather conditions and other system demands.
The flows will use a combination of Commonwealth and Living Murray environmental water.
The environmental flows are planned by the Goulburn Broken CMA, managed by Goulburn Murray Water in line with the Victorian Environmental Water Holder’s Seasonal Watering Plan 2014-15, and take into consideration delivery orders by irrigators and other water users.
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 visit www.gbcma.vic.gov.au
The Seasonal Watering Plan 2014-15 is available at www.vewh.vic.gov.au
Goulburn Murray Water publishes river flow forecasts on its website at www.g-mwater.com.au/managing-water-storages