Water will be released to the Coorong and Lower Lakes throughout October to support the environment, including the River Murray’s fish, bird and frog habitats during the warmer months.

Up to 100 gigalitres of environmental water, mainly from the Goulburn River in Victoria, will be delivered to South Australia to improve fish access through the barrages, improve Coorong North Lagoon habitats for migratory wader birds and increase habitat in the Lower Lakes to encourage southern bell frog, threatened fish and bird breeding during spring.

The water will enable barrage and fishway releases to support fish such as congolli and common galaxias and provide suitable estuarine conditions for spawning of fish such as black bream and greenback flounder.

The additional flows will also help maintain an open Mouth and flush salt from the system.

Background

This environmental water release will come from the Murray, Goulburn, Darling and Campaspe rivers.

The environmental water has been made possible thanks to a collaborative effort between the South Australian, Victorian and New South Wales governments, the Commonwealth Environmental Water Office and The Living Murray which is a joint government initiative coordinated by the Murray–Darling Basin Authority.

Quotes attributable to the River Murray Minister Ian Hunter

The spring environmental water release will encourage breeding to improve native frog, fish and bird populations which are yet to return to pre-Millennium Drought population numbers.

This collaboration between environmental water holders in Victoria, New South Wales and South Australia shows that multiple ecological benefits can be achieved across the system by working together to deliver environmental water as part of the Murray-Darling Basin Plan.

It is crucial that all Basin states are committed to implementing the Basin Plan on time and in full for the benefit of the millions of Australians who rely on our river systems.

Quotes attributable to the Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder David Papps

Commonwealth environmental water continues to be critical to supporting the Coorong and Lower Lakes and the region’s internationally significant wetlands and iconic birds, frogs and fish.

Water delivered during October enables us to provide continuous connection between marine, estuarine and freshwater habitat, which is key to supporting the lifecycles of many native fish species including congollis, common galaxias, black bream and greenback flounder.