Water

Fish numbers good

By Country News

Fish in the Broken River and parts of the Broken Creek are in good condition, despite low flows due to the ongoing hot and dry conditions.

Recent monitoring by Arthur Rylah Institute ecologists showed good numbers of Murray cod with sizes from 40mm to 970mm recorded.

Goulburn Broken CMA’s Simon Casanelia said the size range was good news for future breeding.

‘‘An increased number of juvenile golden perch and Murray River rainbow fish were also recorded,’’ he said.

Silver perch were captured, tagged and released downstream of Gowangardie Weir as part of the research.

‘‘These silver perch moved into the Broken system as a result of co-ordinated deliveries of water for the environment along the Murray, Goulburn and Campaspe rivers in 2017. It’s great to see they’ve stayed in our local rivers and creeks and are now building up numbers,’’ Mr Casanelia said.

Water quality has also improved since Lake Mokoan was decommissioned, according to the Goulburn Broken CMA, as there has been significant reduction in turbidity (murky, cloudy water) and nutrients entering the river.

The monitoring is being done as part of Victorian Environmental Flows Monitoring and Assessment Program (VEFMAP), which aims to assess the response of native fish and vegetation to water for the environment.

The information is then used to improve management of future environmental flows.