A modified flow pattern will be used in the lower Darling River, with Murray-Darling Basin Authority operation water releases to be reduced to 700Ml/day to provide a more favourable flow rate for Murray cod.
In 2016-17 more than 100Gl was delivered for environmental outcomes in the lower Darling, specifically targeting local fish, coinciding with the strongest Murray cod spawning documented in the Darling.
‘‘The modified flow pattern of operation water currently being delivered aims to support both the spawning of Murray cod this year — by removing overt flow variability — and the growth of Murray cod and golden perch produced last year,’’ local fish ecologist Clayton Sharp said.
Changed operational water flows reaching the Murray from the lower Darling will be offset by environmental entitlements on the Murray.
‘‘We are starting to think more creatively about how to co-ordinate the use of all the water in the system — for both operational and environmental needs,’’ the Commonwealth Environmental Water Office’s Hilton Taylor said.
‘‘In this case, we are able to influence the shape and timing of the operational flows in the lower Darling to benefit Murray cod, while co-ordinating with environmental water resources in the Murray to ensure there is no impact on operational supply.’’