Page 287 - VEWH Seasonal Watering Plan 2020-21
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Environmental watering objectives in the Loddon River system
Traditional Owner cultural values and uses
In planning for environmental flows in the Loddon River, Dja Dja Wurrung, Barapa Barapa and Wamba Wemba and North Central CMA have considered how environmental flows in the Loddon system can be managed to support their respective values and uses.
The Dja Dja Wurrung Traditional Owners have expressed an interest in seeing a return of species to the river that were, within peoples’ living memory, more abundant. This includes species such as platypus, turtles and yabbies. Restoring a natural flow regime and improving water quality are overall cultural aspirations of the Dja Dja Wurrung for management of waterways.
The Barapa Barapa and Wamba Wemba are the Traditional Owners in the northern part of the Loddon catchment, and artefacts of cultural practices are present throughout the Loddon and Pyramid system and its floodplain. The river and floodplain are valued as food and fibre sources and sites of cultural significance such as scar trees, camp sites, meeting places and other important sites.
Social, recreational and economic values and uses
In planning the potential watering actions in Table 5.7.1, North Central CMA considered how environmental flows could support values and uses including:
• water-based recreation (such as canoeing and fishing, kayaking, water skiing and swimming)
• riverside recreation and amenity (such as camping, cycling, picnicking and walking)
• community events and tourism (such as local visitation)
• socio-economic benefits (such as diverters for irrigation, domestic and stock uses).
If the timing or management of planned environmental flows may be modified to align with a community benefit, this is acknowledged in Table 5.7.1 with an icon.
If possible, North Central CMA will work with Goulburn- Murray Water to manage the delivery of low flow over summer/autumn, which supports optimum conditions for annual water-skiing competitions on the Loddon River at Bridgewater.
5.7 Loddon system
     Increase populations of small and large-bodied native fish
Provide habitat for fish to feed and breed and opportunities for movement between habitats
  Enhance the channel form and features including deep pools and benches
Maintain the condition of suitable substrate, to maintain ecosystem processes
Engage floodrunners, distributary channels, anabranches and backwaters
    Increase the population and recruitment of resident platypus
Maintain a stable rakali (water rat) population in the long term
    Maintain the streamside and floodplain vegetation
Maintain and increase the extent of in-stream vegetation
    Maintain/increase the diversity and productivity of waterbugs, including biofilms and waterbug functional feeding groups, to drive productive and dynamic food webs
    Maintain water quality, to support aquatic animals and minimise the risk of blackwater events
  Watering planned to support water sports activities (e.g. skiing competitions)
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