Summer pulse of environmental water to benefit fish
The Victorian Environmental Water Holder (VEWH) has contributed 10 billion litres, known as gigalitres (GL) as part of a larger environmental watering event currently underway in the Barmah–Millewa Forest, an icon site of the Living Murray program.
The VEWH water will be combined and delivered with 20 GL from the Living Murray program and 10 GL from the New South Wales government, bringing the total to 40 GL. This will create a pulse for about two weeks, and will mimic the pulses that would have occurred in the River Murray under natural conditions.
The extra water will create a small pulse to benefit the nationally endangered trout cod and threatened Murray cod and silver perch, as well as other large-bodied native fish such as the golden perch. It will also provide flows to waterbird nesting sites, as well as benefit wetland vegetation.
Recent observations from local fishermen, and research by scientists, have confirmed that large-bodied species such as golden and silver perch are now in spawning condition. Previous research has shown that pulses stimulate breeding, with the extra watering and pulses delivered in 2005-06 resulting in a ten-fold increase in fish spawning.
The Living Murray is a joint initiative funded by the Victorian, New South Wales, South Australian, Australian Capital Territory and Commonwealth governments, coordinated by the Murray-Darling Basin Authority.