Campaspe River to enjoy a spring fresh

More than 11,000 megalitres of water for the environment will flow out of Lake Eppalock later this month, helping improve the health of the Campaspe River downstream.

North Central Catchment Management Authority (CMA) will manage the 11-day flow from mid-September.

North Central CMA Environmental Flows Project Manager Darren White said the flow was part of the river’s restoration program.

“This is the type of flow the river, and everything that relies on it to survive and thrive, would have had at this time of year prior to European occupation and regulation,” he said.

“This flow will stay well within the banks all the way down and will be timed to ensure it doesn’t meet up with any higher Goulburn River flows down the Murray.”

Mr White said the spring fresh will have a range of benefits for the animals and plants that live in and around the river.

“It will be timed to provide the right conditions for native fish, to encourage them to travel and begin spawning,” he said.

“The flow will also flush leaf litter off the banks, maintain soil moisture, and scour slime off rocks and snags to revitalise them as a key water bug food source for fish, platypus, and rakali (water rats).”

Since October 2022, about 10 GL of water for the environment has flowed from Lake Eppalock, with water expected to be released every day for the rest of the current financial year.

“Just like irrigation and town supplies, the environment receives a specific yearly allocation from Lake Eppalock,” Mr White said.

“The environmental allocation is managed under legislation that requires it to be used to get the best possible ecological outcome for the river. 

“It’s important for the health of the river the environmental allocation lasts through the high stress summer, with an eye on the following year as well.

“Environmental flow planning is for today and tomorrow. All indicators are pointing to a drier outlook during spring and summer.”

The flows are authorised by the Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder and the Victorian Environmental Water Holder (VEWH) in line with its Seasonal Watering Plan 2023-24.

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