Lower Goulburn River Spring Environmental Flows Start

Wednesday 17 October, 2012
Environmental flows have started to be delivered in the lower Goulburn River.

Environmental flows have started to be delivered in the lower Goulburn River.

With the reduction in catchment runoff in October, Commonwealth environmental water has been used since early October to maintain a desirable base flow of 830 ML/day downstream of Goulburn Weir instead of the normal 250 ML/day.

"The flows should provide improved habitat for native fish and for macroinvertebrates (bugs) which fish feed on," Geoff Earl, Environmental Water Flow Coordinator from the Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority (CMA) said.

In addition to the base flows, on Sunday 14 October the first of two spring flow freshes began. Creating a flow peak of 5,600 ML/day for two days can achieve environmental benefits in the lower Goulburn River."

"Hopefully the flow pulse will trigger breeding of Golden Perch, and move fine sediment from the stream bed to improve macroinverbrate habitat."

The second flow fresh of 5,600 ML/day for 14 days is planned to start in early November. This flow will be aimed at triggering fish breeding, and prolonging the inundation of snags to provide more macroinvertebrate habitat.

The freshes also aim to move water from the Goulburn River to the River Murray to help meet other environmental flow needs downstream. This water is being provided by The Living Murray program and by the Commonwealth Environmental Water Office. 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.

Monitoring funded by Goulburn Broken CMA to detect fish breeding is underway as is monitoring funded by the Commonwealth Environmental Water Office to monitor bed sediment changes.

Environmental water deliveries are being planned by Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority and managed by Goulburn-Murray Water in line with the Victorian Environmental Water Holder's Seasonal Watering Plan 2012-13.

For further information about these releases, please contact Geoff Earl at Goulburn Broken CMA office at Shepparton on 03 5820 1100.


The Goulburn River at Cable Hole