Environmental watering 2012-13
For the first time Commonwealth environmental water has been made available for use in the Namoi catchment to support native fish in the lower Namoi River.
Photo: Gunther Schmida © MDBA
The Commonwealth is providing up to 7,727 megalitres of environmental water to contribute to securing a healthy and diverse native fish community in the lower Namoi River, New South Wales.
Access to good quality in-stream habitat is important to improving the Namoi River native fish community to good health. Since 2007 a range of restoration activities have been undertaken along the river, and include revegetation, fencing, removal of fish barriers and re-snagging. Most of these works were undertaken as part of the Namoi Demonstration Reach project, a collaborative project between the Murray-Darling Basin Authority, Namoi Catchment Management Authority (CMA) and NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI).
Consecutive years of widespread flooding and high river flows caused by above average rainfall in the Namoi River valley have enabled the river channel and wetlands to be well connected. This has been important for the survival of wetland and riverbank native plant communities, improving water quality in the river system and for the successful breeding of native fish and waterbirds.
Commonwealth environmental water will be used to enhance in-stream flows along the Namoi River to contribute to the health of in-stream habitat and support native fish by providing improved opportunities for them to feed, breed and shelter.
The use of Commonwealth environmental water in the Namoi catchment will be managed by NSW State Water working together with scientists and staff from the NSW DPI (Fisheries), NSW Office of Water, Namoi CMA and Commonwealth Environmental Water Office.
Border Rivers catchment
Photo: Arthur Mostead © MDBA
What makes this place so special and why is Commonwealth environmental water used here?
- The Namoi River includes a wide range of habitats such as deep river channels and pools, wetlands, gravel beds and large areas of floodplain woodlands.
- These provide habitats for a variety of native animals including the river snail and native fish such as Murray cod, silver perch, golden perch, the olive perchlet and purple spotted gudgeon.
- The 2008 Sustainable Rivers Audit found the Namoi valley river ecosystem, native fish and aquatic insect communities to be in poor health. Use of Commonwealth environmental water is aimed at improving this condition.
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