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Wimmera CMA

Street Address:
24 Darlot Street, Horsham, 3400
(enter via Gleed St)

Postal Address:
PO Box 479, Horsham, VIC, 3402
Phone: (03) 5382 1544
Fax: (03) 5382 6076
Email: wcma@wcma.vic.gov.au
 
Office Hours:
Monday to Friday, 8:30 - 5:00pm
(excluding Public Holidays and Christmas - New Year Closure.  Office may also be closed for short periods Monday mornings)

Article

Flows target fragile native fish in Mount William Creek

Jan 30, 2018


 
Mount William Creek surveysMount William Creek fish surveys
 
Fish surveyorsFish monitoring researchers
 
River BlackfishRiver Blackfish Mount William Creek

Environmental flows from Lake Lonsdale are targetting a fragile native fish population in Mount William Creek. Latest research surveys of the creek, a priority waterway for environmental flows, discovered a River Blackfish and self-sustaining populations of small native fish including Flat-headed Gudgeons and Obscure Galaxias.

Low flows of 10 megalitres a day from Lake Lonsdale over the next few weeks will help keep refuge pools topped up and preserve habitat and water quality for the native fish.

Wimmera CMA chief executive David Brennan said he expected the environmental water from Lonsdale to continue along the parts of the creek that flow through Ledcourt through to Dadswells Bridge but not much further, depending on weather conditions. 

“The purpose of these releases is to focus on Mount William Creek only, to ensure species such as River Blackfish can persist and be ready to breed and disperse in the cooler months when rain arrives,” he said. “Environmental water for the Wimmera River will be delivered from Taylor’s Lake.” 

Mr Brennan said preliminary results of the Victorian Environmental Flows Monitoring and Assessment Program (VEFMAP) show that flows are having a positive impact on fish numbers in the creek. 

“Many people fondly remember catching large numbers of fish in Mount William Creek in the past but due to habitat loss, introduced species and droughts their numbers have drastically declined,” he said. 

The VEFMAP program is also returning positive results for nearby Burnt Creek and MacKenzie River. 

“Over the years, drought conditions, water extraction and sedimentation of deep pools meant these waterways increasingly lost vibrant and diverse fish populations. Wet conditions during the past two years, combined with regular environmental flows, have boosted fish numbers and allowed them to repopulate. We are excited about these monitoring results, which indicate waterway health in these areas has turned a corner.”

* Environmental water releases in Mount William Creek are prioritised as part of the Victorian Environmental Water Holder’s (VEWH) Seasonal Watering Plan 2017-18, which aims to improve river and wetland health across the state.

* Wimmera CMA has released its planned flows for summer, which it adjusts depending on weather conditions, HERE.

* VEFMAP is funded through the Victorian Government’s $222 million investment in waterway and catchment health over the next four years.


Arthur Rylah Institute fish ecologists Joanne Sharley and Graeme Hackett completed the surveys of Mount William Creek.