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The River Murray Channel

Watering events 2014–15

During 2014–15 the River Murray channel benefitted from the 286 GL of environmental water delivered to all the other icon sites. Some of the successes include:

  • The environmental water that returned to the channel from Gunbower forest brought many thousands of small-bodied native fish.
  • Return flows from Gunbower, Hattah Lakes and Chowilla brought carbon and other nutrients which will greatly benefit all life in the channel.
  • Flows were actively designed to promote native fish recruitment in the South Australian section of the river.

The River Murray Channel at Barmah
The River Murray Channel at Barmah (Photo: David Kleinert)
A Silver Perch, a native fish that swims upstream to breed in the River Murray Channel
A Silver Perch, a native fish that swims upstream to breed in the River Murray Channel (Photo Gunther Schmida).
Trout Cod, an endangered species that lives in the River Murray channel
Trout Cod, an endangered species that lives in the River Murray channel (Photo: Arthur Mostead)

Ecological objectives

There are two high-level ecological objectives for the River Murray Channel each of which has three sub-objectives.

  • The first objective is to contribute to the protection and restoration of biodiversity within the site. Its sub-objectives address native fish, riparian habitat and wetland habitat.
  • The second objective is to contribute to the protection and restoration of ecosystem functions. Its sub-objectives address connectivity, carbon and nutrient cycling and wetting and drying cycles.

About the River Murray Channel

The River Murray Channel icon site extends over 2,200 km from the Hume Dam in Victoria to Wellington in South Australia. The channel links the forests, floodplains, wetlands and estuaries along the River Murray, including the other TLM icon sites. It provides habitat for many native plants, fish and animals, while its banks support river red gum forests of high natural and cultural value.

The Sea to Hume fishway program

Most species of native fish in the River Murray need to migrate as part of their life cycle. Some (like the Congolli) move between the Coorong and the river. Others (like the Silver Perch) move upstream within the river to reproduce. Since European settlement, the construction of weirs along the river and the barrages between the Lower Lakes and the Coorong have limited or prevented these fish movements.

Recent years have seen the completion of the Sea to Hume fishway program. Since 2001 nineteen fishways have been constructed, providing passage for migrating fish for over 2200 km, from the Murray Mouth to Hume Dam.

The TLM icon sites, showing the River Murray Channel icon site

The TLM icon sites, showing the River Murray Channel icon site.

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12 March 2015

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