Page 251 - VEWH Seasonal Watering Plan 2020-21
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Environmental values
The Goulburn River and its tributaries support a range of native fish species including golden perch, silver perch, Murray cod, trout cod, Macquarie perch and freshwater catfish. Aquatic vegetation, scour holes and woody debris within the channel provide high-quality habitat for adult and juvenile fish. River red gums are a dominant feature of the streamside zone along the length of the Goulburn River. These trees shade the river and provide habitat for many species including the squirrel glider. Leaves that fall from the river red gums provide carbon that supports riverine food webs, and dead trees that fall into the river provide
a surface for biofilms and macroinvertebrates and habitat for fish. Birds (such as egrets, herons and cormorants) use trees along the river to roost and feed, while frogs benefit from shallowly- wetted vegetation at the edge of the river channel and in adjacent wetlands.
The Goulburn River system is an important conservation area for threatened species. Several wetlands in the Goulburn catchment are formally recognised for their conservation significance. Tributaries of the mid-Goulburn River between Lake Eildon and Goulburn Weir host some of the last remaining Macquarie perch populations in the Murray-Darling Basin, while freshwater catfish can be found in lagoons connected to reach 3 of the Goulburn River. Monitoring over recent years shows that environmental flows in the lower Goulburn River trigger golden perch
and silver perch to spawn. However, further monitoring
is required to determine how these spawning events contribute to populations locally and in the wider southern basin. Self-sustaining populations of Murray cod have been confirmed, and trout cod have been spawning and extending their range in the lower Goulburn River.
Environmental watering objectives in the Goulburn River
Traditional Owner cultural values and uses
Goulburn Broken CMA consulted with the Taungurung Land and Waters Council and Yorta Yorta Nation Aboriginal Corporation during the planning of environmental water deliveries in the Goulburn River. The environmental and ecological objectives of the proposals were supported
and align with the broad values of these Traditional Owner groups.
Yorta Yorta Nation Aboriginal Corporation raised concerns about the cultural damage IVTs are having on the lower Goulburn River and the Barmah Choke in addition to the ecological damage being caused. Environmental flow deliveries and system planning in the Goulburn River aim
to mitigate some of these impacts. Taungurung Land and Waters Council also shared these concerns, and strongly supports the implementation of a new operational rule for IVTs and the Victorian Government’s review of the trade rule to avoid further damage of the ecological and cultural values of the river.
5.4 Goulburn system
     Protect and boost populations of native fish
   Maintain the form of the riverbank and channel including maintaining a high diversity of river bed surfaces to support all stream life
   Provide sufficient rates of carbon and nutrient production and processing to support native fish and waterbug communities
   Increase aquatic and flood-tolerant plants in the river channel and on the lower banks, to provide shelter and food for animals and to stabilise the riverbank
    Maintain abundant and diverse waterbug communities, to support riverine food webs
    Minimise the risk of hypoxic blackwater
   Victorian Environmental Water Holder | Seasonal Watering Plan 2020–21 | 249

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