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Environmental watering for fish in the Murrumbidgee River 2012-13

Status

30 June 2013: This action has been completed.

About the watering

Commonwealth environmental water was made available to support the breeding and growth of native fish communities in the mid and lower Murrumbidgee River below Darlington Point, New South Wales.

Photo of Murray cod

Murray cod. Photo: Gunther Schmida © Murray Darling Basin Authority

The commencement date of the watering action was dependant on rainfall, local weather conditions, and advice from the NSW Department of Primary Industries (Fisheries) relating to the best breeding conditions in the area for Murray cod.

The environmental water contributed to:

  • maintaining inundation of native fish breeding habitat long enough to ensure breeding success
  • increasing flows to help native fish disperse throughout the river at the end of the breeding season
  • providing a gradual decrease in flows to limit the risk of stranding native fish that may have continued to occupy breeding habitat.

Peak flows during the event were planned so that they would not exceed 12 gigalitres (GL) per day (as measured at Darlington Point). This helped ensure that the environmental water was contained well within the river banks. Flows from this environmental watering action provided additional benefits throughout the river as it travels from the storages downstream through the Murrumbidgee.

Water delivery was managed in cooperation with the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage, NSW State Water and the NSW Department of Primary Industries (Fisheries). These agencies have also worked with Charles Sturt University, the University of NSW, and the Murrumbidgee Catchment Management Authority to monitor the outcomes achieved by this environmental watering action.

Video

The NSW Office of Environment and Heritage produced the YouTube video Helping the Murray cod in the Murrumbidgee which refers to this watering event.