Natural inflows in the upper Campaspe River catchment are harvested into Lake Eppalock, which is located near the townships of Axedale and Heathcote. The main tributaries of the Campaspe River are the Coliban River, McIvor and Pipers creeks upstream of Lake Eppalock and Mount Pleasant, Forest and Axe creeks downstream of Lake Eppalock. Below Lake Eppalock, the major instream structure is the Campaspe Weir, which was built to divert water to the Campaspe Irrigation District. It is not used for water diversion now, but is a barrier to fish migration. Higher flows usually spill over the weir. The Campaspe Siphon, just downstream of Rochester, is part of the Waranga Western Channel which carries water from the Goulburn system to western Victoria. Water can be released from the Waranga Western Channel into the lower reaches of the Campaspe River, but the siphon is another barrier to fish migration at low-to-moderate flows.
The Campaspe River continues to be an important place for Traditional Owners and their Nations. The Registered Aboriginal Parties (RAPs) in the region are the Taungurung Clans Aboriginal Corporation, the Dja Dja Wurrung Clans Aboriginal Corporation and the Yorta Yorta Nation Aboriginal Corporation. Representatives from the three RAPs were engaged during the preparation of the Campaspe system seasonal watering proposal.
The Campaspe River has been identified as a priority for restoration under Water for Victoria. The Caring for the Campaspe project will deliver revegetation and fencing projects to protect and improve riparian land along the Campaspe River and its tributaries. Complementary water management activities such as these are needed to optimise the environmental outcomes achievable with environmental flows.