Platypus and native fish to benefit from environmental flows

0
395
INFLOWS ARE VERY LOW… Water inflows to Nillahcootie have been very low, as evidenced here by this image of the upper Broken River, taken in April. Photo: Supplied.

Platypus and native fish, including the Murray cod, will benefit from the delivery of water for the environment along the Broken River downstream of Lake Nillahcootie.

Goulburn Broken Catchment Managament Authority (CMA) environmental water manager, Simon Casanelia said due to dry conditions, sections of the river were still experiencing very low or no flows.

“Ideally, to maintain water quality and bank vegetation, provide shelter for fish and wildlife such as the platypus and to support water bugs, we need at least 15ML per day to flow along the Broken River,” Mr Casanelia said.

“Due to limited tributary inflows and low operational releases from Lake Nillahcootie now the irrigation season has finished, this minimum flow target is unlikely to be met in the section of the river between Nillahcootie and Hollands Creek. That’s why we’re using up to 250ML of available water for the environment to maintain a base flow until at least the end of June.”

Goulburn Broken CMA CEO, Chris Norman said that if conditions remained dry, Goulburn Broken CMA would continue to work with the Victorian and Commonwealth water holders and Goulburn-Murray Water to identify opportunities to secure additional water to support the delivery of the base flow beyond June. If there is heavy rain, delivery of environmental flows will stop.

Last April, for the first time, water for the environment was delivered along the Broken River. During that event, flows below Lake Nillahcootie peaked at 300ML per day and then dropped back to around 80ML per day. Recent monitoring showed promising increases in native fish numbers including silver and golden perch, Murray River rainbow fish and Murray cod in response to environmental flows.

“Anyone living by the Broken River knows how low the river is at the moment,” Mr Norman said. “Delivering this small amount of water is critical for maintaining the health of the entire river and the fish, wildlife and people who rely on it.”

For more information about environmental flows visit www.gbcma.viv.gob.au