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Spring flows to benefit fish in lower Broken Creek

Fish in the lower Broken Creek are set to receive a welcome surprise as the creek receives its first environmental flows in spring to improve habitat during their migration and breeding season.

Image of the Broken Creek at James BridgeFish in the lower Broken Creek are set to receive a welcome surprise as the creek receives its first environmental flows in spring to improve habitat during their migration and breeding season.

This has been made possible by the allocation of up to 59,000 ML of Commonwealth environmental water, which will see 250 ML a day of water flow into the creek from September to December 2012.

"The weir pools in the lower Broken Creek from Nathalia downstream to the River Murray provide great habitat for fish, especially large bodied fish like Murray Cod and Golden Perch," Geoff Earl, Environmental Water Flow Coordinator from the Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority said.

"For the last eight years, environmental flows have been used during the irrigation season (mid August to mid May) to help keep the fish ladders on the weirs open and to minimise the risk to fish from low dissolved oxygen levels in the creek.

"This year's Commonwealth water allocation to the creek will contribute to these needs, as well as provide the amounts needed to increase water habitat for fish during the vital migration and breeding season."
Flows to the lower Broken Creek will be made via the Goulburn and Murray rivers through irrigation channel systems.

"Flows from the River Murray will be made from the current high river flows rather than from environmental entitlements, allowing environmental water to be saved for later use when river flows reduce. Flows from the Goulburn River will be made from environmental entitlements."

"Water entering the creek will flow back to the River Murray downstream of Barmah Forest, minus any losses along the way," he said.

If channel capacity becomes limited during this release, environmental flows will be reduced to allow irrigation water to be delivered.

The Commonwealth Environmental Water Office is also funding a major monitoring program to determine the success of this year's environmental watering.Environmental water deliveries are being planned by Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority and managed by Goulburn-Murray Water in line with the Victorian Environmental Water Holder's Seasonal Watering Plan 2012-13.

Further Information

please contact Geoff Earl at Goulburn Broken CMA office at Shepparton on 03 5820 1100.

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