Water managers have joined forces to maintain flows in the Murray River that support native fish and their habitat.
Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH) water manager Paul Childs said river levels have been maintained so native fish can breed using water for the environment to compensate for a drop due to low irrigation demand in early September.
‘‘The release water for the environment ensures flowing habitat is maintained for Murray cod and trout cod during their critical breeding period,’’ he said.
‘‘Murray cod build their nests under snags and raised sections of the river bed which can become exposed when river levels drop unseasonably.
‘‘The water will benefit fish habitat in the Murray through to South Australia, the Edward River, as well as the Gulpa Creek, and help to connect many floodplain creeks along the way.’’
Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder David Papps said this event was an example of water for the environment being put to good use to give our native fish, including the iconic Murray cod, the opportunity to breed successfully.
During the cod breeding season, flows downstream of Yarrawonga will be maintained above 8,500 megalitres per day using a combination of water held in storage for the benefit of the environment, inflows from the tributaries located between Hume Dam and Yarrawonga Weir, and operational releases from Hume Dam.