Native fish recovery works in the Gunbower and lower Loddon areas are set to deliver healthier habitats for iconic species like Murray cod and silver and golden perch.
Environmental flows began at Loddon Weir on April 3 and Pyramid Creek on April 4. The flow will gradually increase to 700Ml a day for 10 days at Kerang Weir.
North Central Catchment Management Authority will manage the flow down Pyramid Creek and the Loddon Weir towards the Murray River.
The flow is part of the Victorian Government’s broader $222million initiative — Water for Victoria — to improve the health of waterways and catchments across regional Victoria.
‘‘It’s clear that healthy rivers and wetlands are important for the social, economic and environmental health of local communities,’’ Victorian Water Minister Lisa Neville said.
‘‘We want to create a world-class trophy fishery in this region and bring fish numbers and sizes back to what they once were.’’
The flows are planned to trigger fish movements into improved waterways that will better allow the critically endangered silver perch and golden perch through the Lower Loddon and up Pyramid Creek to Kow Swamp and access the great habitat in the Loddon River around Canary Island and below Loddon Weir.
‘‘There is no reason we can’t, once again, expect to see metre-long Murray cod and thousands of silver and golden perch swimming in our local waterways,’’ Ms Neville said.
The Native Fish Recovery Plan has improved habitats for native fish by building fishways at weirs, re-installing snags, fencing and revegetating river banks, and managing flows to encourage movement.
The flow builds on recently completed works, including 26 fixed snag piles in Pyramid Creek, fencing, weed control and revegetation improvements along stream banks.