Water

Environmental flow to improve Serperntine Creek water quality

By Country News

With a long, hot summer coming to an end, and dry conditions set to continue, the health of fish in a key local waterway is in the spotlight.

The region’s rivers have seen years of management aimed at repairing damage from the millennium drought and 2011 and 2016 floods, and building resilience to help them cope with dry times, says North Central Catchment Management Authority.

‘‘As a result, our waterways are in relatively good condition, as are the fish and other animals that rely on them to survive,’’ North Central CMA project manager Genevieve Smith said.

‘‘However, it has been a long, hot summer, and demand for irrigation flows in some parts of the Loddon River system, including Serpentine Creek, have been low.

‘‘That means less water has flowed down the waterway, so it’s time to freshen things up a bit.’’

Up to 40Ml a day for two days will flow down Serpentine Creek.

‘‘The flow will help with water quality, with fresh water mixing with still water. It will mean the whole creek will get a drink. It will also connect stagnant pools, allowing fish to move to better quality water if they need it,’’ Ms Smith said.

‘‘We had a flow earlier in summer that cleared the banks of any leaf litter, so the risk of toxic blackwater is low, and this flow will also wet those banks and help revitalise vegetation.’’