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Author Topic: Goulburn River flows a golden opportunity for Yellowbelly breeding  (Read 3645 times)

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Goulburn River flows a golden opportunity for Yellowbelly breeding

Posted on 6 November, 2013 - GBCMA

Two freshes – increased flows – along the Goulburn River during November and December have been planned to encourage Golden Perch (Yellowbelly) to breed.

Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority (CMA) Environmental Water Flow Coordinator Geoff Earl said since 2003, the fish had only bred in significant numbers in one year – 2010.

“Unfortunately the young were subsequently killed in the December 2010 blackwater event, so that’s 10 years without significant breeding,” Mr Earl said.

Mr Earl said the proposed November release, of up to 8,500 ML/day, is scheduled to start on Wednesday November 13 at Goulburn Weir, peaking on about November 17 and 18, and will be completed by about November 24.

“The second fresh of up to 8,500 ML/day is scheduled to start on Friday, November 29 at Goulburn Weir and be completed by about December 20,” he said. “It is expected to be at the peak flow only briefly around December 4, and to be above 5,600 ML/day for two weeks from about December 2 to December 15.

“Flows will arrive at locations downstream of Goulburn Weir later than these planned dates, as releases take about one week to flow from Goulburn Weir to the Murray River.”

This is the third year freshes along the Goulburn have been conducted during October to December.

“The peak flows are planned to be higher than last year’s November fresh, which peaked at 5,600 ML/day for two weeks,” Mr Earl said. “The longer fresh in December also aims to prolong inundation of snags to provide more habitat for water bugs and to encourage vegetation to grow on the lower river banks.”

Mr Earl said flow levels and timing may vary depending on weather conditions.

“These environmental flows are planned by the Goulburn Broken CMA, managed by Goulburn-Murray Water in line with the Victorian Environmental Water Holder’s Seasonal Watering Plan 2013-14, and take into consideration delivery orders by irrigators and other water users,” he said.

The water is provided by the Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder and The Living Murray Program.  The Living Murray is a joint initiative funded by the New South Wales, Victorian, South Australian, Australian Capital Territory and Commonwealth governments, coordinated by the Murray–Darling Basin Authority.

Monitoring to detect fish breeding in the Goulburn River is under way, funded by the Commonwealth Environmental Water Office and the Goulburn Broken CMA.

For further information about environmental water releases, please contact Geoff Earl on 03 5820 1100.

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