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Water releases to boost Murray cod

A group of recreational anglers recently took the opportunity to learn first-hand how environmental water releases near Mathoura are boosting populations of one of their most prized catches - the Murray Cod.

Earlier this month Paul Childs from the Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH) accompanied fishing enthusiasts on a field trip to the Millewa forest to see first-hand how environmental water is being managed for the benefit of native fish.
 
"Water managers are aiming to create breeding habitat for large native fish by more effectively managing the way we manage flows into the forest creek systems," Mr Childs said.
 
"Regulators that deliver water into the creeks in the forest help to restore natural wetting and drying cycles but they can pose a problem for native fish trying to access breeding and refuge habitat.
 
"The fish that do make it through to the creeks might then get 'stuck' and unable to move back into the River.
 
"This project is looking at different ways to manipulate flows through these regulators, tagging cod and tracking their movements between the creek and the river," Mr Childs said.
 
The information will be used to develop operating protocols for flows into the forest to help build native fisheries in the central Murray River region.
 
Wayne McPherson from the Bidgee Classic Fishing Competition said OEH's field trip was a great way to see and hear how water flow patterns effect fish movements.
 
"Getting Murray Cod to breed in creek systems could make a big difference to increasing native fish numbers in the Murray," said Mr McPherson.
 
"An increase in fish numbers will not only benefit local tourism, it will also make for great fishing and improve the natural environment," he said.
This project, using an allocation of environmental water, is part of a broader partnership between the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage, NSW DPI Fisheries, Water NSW, Victorian Environmental Water Holder, Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder and the Murray–Darling Basin Authority.
 
These agencies are working together to deliver water at various points along the River Murray for ecological outcomes.
 
For more information about environmental water delivery to the Murray River, visit the Office of Environment & Heritage.

Further Information

Sarah Scroope
environment.nsw.gov.au/newsroom
Tel: 0427 578 834 or 02 9995 5347

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