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Summary 2017–18

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water for the environment delivered

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Actions

Water for the environment delivered
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Climate conditions

Dry - above average temperatures with river flows half the long term average. tooltip
icon dry

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Are there works at this site?
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Highlights

Activities

Threatened fish monitoring in the Lower Lakes in 2018-19 has detected small populations of southern pygmy perch and Murray hardyhead in the Lower Lakes. Unfortunately no Yarra pygmy perch were detected in either TLM condition monitoring or additional extensive surveys. The species is now presumed locally extinct within the Murray-Darling Basin. (Photo: Scotte Wedderburn).

Community

Sixty community members joined the wetland bus tour of the Lower Lakes and barrages to celebrate World Wetlands Day 2018. The tour showcased water for the environment and how it is delivered via the barrages and fishways to improve the health of this unique wetland within the Murray-Darling Basin. (Photo: Adrienne Rumbelow)

Vegetation

A lengthy draw down of water levels in the Lower Lakes in autumn 2018 exposed mudflats, allowing a higher rate of germination for native plants compared to previous years. The exposed mudflats also provided more feeding grounds for thousands of migratory birds like curlew sandpipers, black-winged silts and the rare white-rumped sandpiper. (Photo: Kirsty Wedge)

Waterbirds

The aerial waterbird survey found that the largest breeding event in the Murray-Darling Basin for 2017 was in the Lower Lakes. This highlights the importance of the Lower Lakes as a waterbird refuge during dry years. Breeding birds included royal spoonbills, straw-necked ibis and pied cormorants. (Photo: Sabine Dittmann)

Fish

The numbers of black bream, an important commercial and recreational fishing species, are being helped in the Coorong. Black bream bred successfully in 2017-18 following targeted use of environmental flows to create the right range of salinity conditions needed for breeding.  Juveniles were detected in good numbers in early March 2019 showing young fish had successfully grown and survived. This is a promising sign that water for the environment is helping to support population recovery of black bream in the Coorong. (Photo: SARDI Aquatic Sciences)

Past reports for Lower Lakes, Coorong and Murray Mouth

  Overall   Vegetation Waterbirds Fish Other
flood icon2017-18 C   C D C B
flood icon2016-17 B   B D B B
flood icon2015-16 C   C D C A
flood icon2014-15 B   B A C B
flood icon2013-14 B   B A C A
flood icon2012-13 B   B A B A
flood icon2011-12 B   B A B A
flood icon2010-11 D   C D D B
flood icon2009-10 D   C D C D
flood icon2008-09 D   B D D D
flood icon2007-08 D   B D D D
flood icon2006-07 C   - D B C
 
 
dry icon Dry flood icon Very Wet
wet icon Wet moderate icon Moderate

Each year, water is released into the environment depending on the climatic conditions. See the outcomes of water over time for a long-term view of how natural and released water affects the health of rivers.

Gallery

Aerial view - Coorong Channel and the Murray Mouth
Aerial view - Coorong Channel and the Murray Mouth
Aquatic plant Myriophyllum Salsugineum, Lake Milfoil Photo: Kirsty Wedge
Aquatic plant Myriophyllum Salsugineum, Lake Milfoil
Community Ngarrindjeri government partnerships
Community Ngarrindjeri government partnerships Photo: Stephen Madigan
Monitoring congolli Photo: Scotte Wedderburn
Monitoring congolli Photo: Scotte Wedderburn
Fish ecologists and Ngarrindjeri (Working on Country Staff) Photo: Scotte Wedderburn
Fish ecologists and Ngarrindjeri (Working on Country Staff) Photo: Scotte Wedderburn
Tauwitchere barrage - The Coorong Photo: Scotte Wedderburn
Tauwitchere barrage - The Coorong Photo: Scotte Wedderburn
Terns a plenty - The Coorong Photo: Sabine Dittman
Terns a plenty - The Coorong Photo: Sabine Dittman
A map of the Murray-Darling Basin see-our-progress MURRAY RIVER ADELAIDE Koondrook-Perricoota Forest Deniliquin Goolwa SOUTHAUSTRALIA VICTORIA NEW SOUTH WALES Barmah-Millewa Forest Hattah Lakes Lower Lakes, Coorong &Murray Mouth GunbowerForest Lindsay, Mulcra & Wallpolla Islands Blanchetown Mildura Swan Hill Albury-Wodonga Echuca ChowillaFloodplain