Juvenile Golden perch sampled in the Menindee Lakes system in autumn 2021. Photo: DPI Fisheries
A wet start
The last year has seen high inflows from the northern Murray-Darling Basin via the Barwon-Darling (Baawan-Baaka) into the Menindee Lakes.
In the lower Darling-Baaka River, these flows have:
- connected the river channel with many of the wetlands and billabongs of the lower Darling-Baaka River floodplain, providing significant benefits for vegetation, waterbirds, aquatic bugs, frogs and other animals that live on the floodplain.
- assisted dispersal of Golden perch (aka Yellowbelly or Callop) from the northern Basin and Menindee Lakes to the lower Darling-Baaka River and ultimately into the River Murray.
- provided a boost in river productivity which in turn generates plenty of food for juvenile fish.
Unfortunately, receding floodwaters caused a large-scale fish death event in the lower Darling-Baaka River near Menindee in autumn 2023.
The Great Darling Anabranch has also been flowing since spring 2021. These flows have significantly benefitted the vegetation communities of the Anabranch and its lakes, including aquatic life that depend on them, while also transporting juvenile fish to the River Murray.
Keep up to date with use of water for the environment, monitoring activities and outcomes via our event updates. The NSW Department of Planning and Environment has also published a video explaining fish movement tracking that is underway to track the movements of golden perch along the lower Darling-Baaka, Anabranch and Murray River: Supporting native fish in the Murray Darling Basin.
The next flow update will be published once monitoring results are available, particularly showing the state of native fish populations in the lower Darling-Baaka following the fish death event. These results will be critical to informing plans for environmental water use in 2023-24.
Lower Darling-Baaka and Great Darling Anabranch event updates
Lower Darling / Baaka flow and Great Darling Anabranch update 1 – for 2022-23
Lower Darling-Baaka and Great Darling Anabranch event update 3 2021-22
Flows continue to help native fish in the lower Darling / Baaka River and the Great Darling Anabranch, and an exciting discovery at the Menindee Lakes.
Lower Darling-Baaka and Great Darling Anabranch event update 2 2021-22
Fish outcomes being targeted in the lower Darling / Baaka River and the Great Darling Anabranch.
Lower Darling-Baaka and Great Darling Anabranch event update 1 2021
After the Menindee Lakes reached capacity in September, water is being released down the Great Darling Anabranch for the first time since 2017.