GOLDEN and silver perch and other native fish across river networks throughout parts of the southern Murray-Darling Basin have been distributed by co-ordinating environmental flows in three rivers.
Department of Environment Land Water and Planning’s Arthur Rylah Institute principal research scientist Jarod Lyon said Victoria co-ordinated flow releases in the Goulburn and Campaspe rivers with an environmental flow in the Murray River to encourage fish movement and increase fish populations throughout the basin.
‘‘During these co-ordinated flows, we monitored tagged fish, such as golden and silver perch, as part of a project supported by the Murray-Darling Basin Authority and Victorian Environmental Flows Monitoring and Assessment Program and found fish used the flows to move out of the Murray and into tributaries,’’ Mr Lyon said.
‘‘These results show that migration of native fish during flows into the tributaries of the Murray River could be a substantial driver of populations. Using this information our environmental watering programs can use these flows as a targeted management action to assist the recovery of native fish populations in the tributaries of the Murray.
‘‘Maintaining and increasing fish populations in our river systems is an important target of environmental flow releases under Victorian Government and Commonwealth Government programs such as Water for Victoria and the Murray Darling Basin Plan.
‘‘By co-ordinating the delivery of environmental flows in northern Victoria we are making sure we maximise the shared benefits of water for productive, environmental, cultural and recreational users.
‘‘Fish don’t respect state borders; our river systems are a network of corridors that fish use to complete their life cycle.’’