Water

River gets spring clean

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September 05, 2017

The Campaspe River will receive two environmental flows during Spring.

The Campaspe River is receiving a ‘spring clean’ from two environmental flows.

North Central Catchment Management Authority project manager Darren White said the authority’s watering program had produced great results for the Campaspe River.

‘‘We have seen silver perch reach sections of the river they haven’t been seen in more than a decade, and we have seen an increase in the numbers of Murray cod and golden perch,’’ Mr White said.

‘‘Our spring river flows will help stimulate the growth of their food waterbugs and will prompt the fish to move further up the river to breed.

‘‘And the same goes for the platypus. This spring is really important for local platypus numbers because a generation of them was wiped out during last year’s natural floods.’’

Two flows in August and October are expected to help the fish and platypus survive during spring, and give the banks a much-needed clean.

‘‘Along some sections of the river there has been significant build-up of leaf litter and debris,’’ Mr White said.

‘‘This needs to be flushed away before it gets too hot. If it’s not, and there is a high flow in summer, it will wash into the river and could cause a toxic blackwater event.’’

Up to 1300Ml/day for two days, plus the amount of water required to reach that level, will flow down the river during both events below the Eppalock Reservoir.

The upper reaches of the river received a cleaning flow after the early August rainfall, a flow that was stopped by Lake Eppalock.

Together, the flows will account for a maximum of three per cent of the amount of water that flowed into Lake Eppalock last financial year, or four per cent of what is in there now.

‘‘We may actually need less water this year than we have planned, with Goulburn-Murray Water expected to release water for irrigators around the same time,’’ Mr White said.

‘‘If this happens, some water for the environment will stay in the reservoir for the peak recreation period.’’

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