River gets spring clean

Shepparton News - Country News - - LETTERS TO THE EDITOR -

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 1300 Ml/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.’’

New sea­son flush . . . The Cam­paspe River will re­ceive two en­vi­ron­men­tal flows dur­ing spring.

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