Flows, fish and forests
|Objectives||Provide food and shelter for native fish and other aquatic animals along the River Murray, from Hume Dam to the Coorong.|
|Start date||1 August 2019 (Hume Dam release)|
|Total duration||1st flow (1 Aug) – 2-3 weeks
2nd flow (1 Sept) – at least 6 weeks
|Flow rate||Combined with other flows to target up to 2.2m (15,000 megalitres/day) downstream of Yarrawonga Weir.|
|Target areas||River Murray channel and key wetlands and creeks in Barmah-Millewa and Gunbower-Koondrook-Pericoota forests, Edward-Wakool, Lake Kramen (Vic Hattah-Kulkyne Lakes complex), wetlands in Chowilla and Coorong and Lower Lakes.|
Where is the flow now…?
August flows have now reached the Lower Murray down to the Lower Lakes and Coorong in South Australia.
September flows have made it to Euston.
Murray cod larvae about 10 days old. One of the fish benefiting from opening water regulators at Yarran Ck. Photo: SARDI.
Connecting with fish...
As the spring pulse arrives at Gunbower Forest, water managers will be delivering a through-flow from Gunbower Creek into Yarran Creek. This will flush carbon and nutrient-rich water from the Gunbower wetlands, as well as restore an important fish highway.
In-stream infrastructure (such as weirs) currently prevent native fish from migrating from the Murray River into Gunbower Creek. However, when a flow is provided through Yarran Creek, it provides a bypass, which allows fish to move from the Murray and recolonise Gunbower Creek, helping to sustain local native fish populations.
Sunrise over Gunbower Creek. Photo: CEWO.
Flows entering Millewa Forest via the Mary Ada regulator. Photo: NSW NPWS.
Careful and coordinated management in Barmah-Millewa Forest
In spring 2018-19, the majority of water travelled through the Barmah Forest, providing much needed water to plants and animals.
This spring, water for the environment is targeting flows into the Millewa Forest to ensure it also benefits from a drink.
A series of weir-like structures, commonly referred to as water regulators, allow river operators and site managers to control the amount of water that enters the Barmah-Millewa Forest, and the water level on the floodplain.
Water from the Southern Spring Flow is being re‑used multiple times along the River Murray all the way from Lake Hume to the Coorong.
We are collaborating with the Victorian Environmental Water Holder, NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment, SA Department for Environment and Water, Murray-Darling Basin Authority, Goulburn-Broken CMA, North Central CMA, WaterNSW and Goulburn Murray Water.
More information: Southern Spring Flow throws a lifeline to the River Murray
Local Engagement Officers
Commonwealth Environmental Water Office Local Engagement Officers:
Anthony Wilson (Wodonga, VIC)
- 0419 188 430
Richard Mintern (Mildura, VIC)
- 0437 218 649
Michelle Campbell (Berri)
- 0437 064 664
Map of Southern Murray-Darling Basin showing progress of Southern Spring flow as at 16 September. Dark orange line represents August flow. Dark blue line represents September flow.