Environmental water held back in Rocklands
25 October 2016
Due to recent flooding, the Glenelg Hopkins Catchment Management Authority (CMA) says no environmental water has been released from Rocklands Reservoir into the Glenelg River since July.
Glenelg Hopkins CMA Water Manager Bryce Morden said this will be the first time since 2011 that environmental water won't been released at this time of year.
He said due to natural inflows to the river from the recent wet period, it simply isn't needed. "We haven't had to do any environmental water releases so far this winter and spring. This means we can save water for the summer or even depending on how the season plays out, into the following year," he said.
"No water has been released from Rocklands [since July]. The river just doesn't need it at the moment." He said the CMA has recommended holding back environmental water releases, including freshes (large pulses of water released to initiate fish breeding) and passing flows (ongoing flow usually released year round).
As water levels in the Glenelg fall in coming weeks, environmental water releases are set to start again.
"Depending on conditions, passing flows of around 110ML per day are set to start some time in November with the first fresh to be released in early summer."
"There will probably be a fresh in late December and that will improve water quality and set things up for the peak of summer. There will be a follow up release in late summer or early autumn to help shift the salt that accumulates in the system over the summer months.
"By releasing environmental water we help restore parts of the natural flow process that support things like fish breeding and movement."
Mr Morden said postponing environmental water releases is good for users of the Glenelg River and Rocklands Reservoir.
"Rocklands is the highest it's been since the 2010-11 floods. It's currently at 50 percent full and inflows should continue in the coming months."
Secretary of the Casterton Angling Society Brian Murrell said stopping passing flows from Rocklands during large flood events makes sense.
"Everyone's happy that the passing flows stay in Rocklands," he said. "We are fully in favour of banking the flow and making sure the river flows in summer and autumn this year. The river was in a pretty sorry state due to drought with no connectivity until May this year.
"I'm looking forward to a really good fishing season this year," he said.
To be notified about when environmental water is to be released from Rocklands Reservoir you can subscribe to an SMS subscription service by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also check storagemanager.com.au for information on all the Grampian's water storages.
Glenelg Hopkins CMA
Felicity Forth 0466 362 642