About the document
The Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder engaged Charles Sturt University and partner agencies to monitor the ecological response to environmental water delivered to the Murrumbidgee River system during the 2013-14 water year. This monitoring data is used to inform adaptive management of watering actions to improve the outcomes from environmental watering. Key findings from the monitoring that are captured in this report are as follows:
- Fish - improved fish reproduction and condition as observed by an increased abundance of native species, including Bony Herring, Carp Gudgeon and Murray Cod
- Birds – improved wetland habitat for waterbirds with a total of 52 species of waterbirds observed across 49 survey sites, including threatened and listed species such as the threatened blue-billed and freckled ducks recorded in wetlands that received Commonwealth environmental water
- Microinvertebrates – increased densities of microinvertebrates in wetlands across the Lowbidgee floodplain. Micro-invertebrates are a critical food source for a number of wetland fauna including native larval fish and filter-feeding duck species
- Frogs - following the delivery of flows in winter-spring 2013, vulnerable Southern Bell Frog calling was recorded at key sites in the Lowbidgee.
- Food webs - the development of productive wetland ecosystems capable of supporting diverse food webs, including algae and microinvertebrates that support biota at higher trophic levels such as fish and waterbirds.