Murrumbidgee Environmental water outcomes

Wassens, S. (Consultant)

Activity: Other EngagementPublic outreachGovernment

Description

Monitoring and evaluating the use of water for the environment is helping to build knowledge about the best way to improve the health of the rivers and wetlands of the Basin, based on what works and what doesn’t work.

The Commonwealth Environmental Water Office (CEWO) works with Basin states, the Murray-Darling Basin Authority, scientists and the local community to build this knowledge. There are a number of programs currently underway in the Murrumbidgee catchment, including the CEWO’s Monitoring Evaluation and Research Program and Short Term Intervention Monitoring.

Some recent examples of learnings include:

- Breeding in many frog species, including the southern bell frog (EPBC Act vulnerable), is triggered by rising water levels in wetlands during the months of October and November.
- Environmental water has supported the establishment of aquatic vegetation communities in the mid-Murrumbidgee and Lowbidgee floodplains over 2014-20.
- Spawning and recruitment of native fish species, such as the golden perch, can occur from within the floodplain system, independent of a connection to the Murrumbidgee River. This was demonstrated during monitoring in 2018-19 and 2019-20 when golden perch were recorded spawning and recruiting in Tala Creek in response to environmental water deliveries in Yanga National Park. Monitoring is therefore providing evidence that floodplain creeks and connected systems (i.e. lakes and lagoons) are ideal habitat for native fish recruitment.
- Environmental flows from the river have also been shown to provide a source of fish larvae and juvenile fish onto the floodplain.
- Spawning of riverine fish in the Murrumbidgee River is closely linked to water temperatures. Monitoring to date has shown little evidence that discrete flow peaks in the mid-Murrumbidgee influence flow-cued spawners, such as golden and silver perch. This may be in part due to higher water flows in the mid-Murrumbidgee creating suitable conditions for spawning throughout the breeding season.
Period16 Sep 2020
Event titleMurrumbidgee Environmental Water Advisory Group: null
Event typeOther
Degree of RecognitionRegional