Flows to aid habitat

By Country News

Flows in the Broken River below Lake Nillahcootie are due to increase for a short time this month to improve habitat for native fish, aquatic plants and water bugs.

Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority’s environmental water manager Simon Casanelia said this would be the first time flow down the Broken River had been modified for environmental purposes.

‘‘Summer was hot and dry, and much of the rain and run-off into the Broken River has been captured by dams and weirs,’’ Mr Casanelia said.

‘‘Therefore, we are giving nature a helping hand and delivering water at this time of year (autumn) to mimic more natural flow conditions.’’

Water that is being transferred to the Goulburn River for irrigation as well as water set aside for the environment will be used to increase the flow.

Flows below Lake Nillahcootie are planned to increase from April 9 and will peak about 300Ml/day (1.44m) before slowly dropping back to current levels of around 80Ml/day (1.20m) by late April.

If it rains it is possible the timing and size of the environmental flows could change or be cancelled.

‘‘Rainfall forecasts are regularly monitored by Goulburn-Murray Water and the delivery of water will reduce or stop if rainfall is expected to result in higher river flows,’’ Mr Casanelia said.

Environmental flows are planned by the Goulburn Broken CMA in consultation with the Victorian Environmental Water Holder, Commonwealth Environmental Water Office and managed by G-MW in line with the Victorian Environmental Water Holder’s Seasonal Watering Plan 2017-18.