Science improves our understanding of how plants and animals respond to water for the environment and informs how environmental flows can best support them in the future.
As part of the CEWO’s Monitoring, Evaluation and Research (Flow-MER) Program, quarterly newsletters provide an update of recent monitoring, evaluation and research activities and preliminary observations and findings in the following Selected Areas:
- Junction of the Warrego and Darling rivers
- Gwydir river system
- Lachlan river system
- Murrumbidgee river system
- Edward/Kolety - Wakool river system
- Goulburn River
- Lower Murray River
The information is used by water managers to facilitate real-time adaptive management of Commonwealth environmental water. For more information about the Flow-MER Program, please visit the Flow-MER website.
Selected Area Highlights from Issue 8 Outcomes Newsletters (April-June 2021)
Junction of Warrego and Darling rivers
The first Aboriginal Cultural Advisor to advise on engagement approaches has been appointed for the Warrego-Darling Selected Area.
Monitoring of eggbanks and nutrients in sediments has found 5,793 invertebrate eggs. The most common were water fleas and the most widespread were roundworms.
More detailed information is available in the Warrego-Darling Issue 8 newsletter.
Gwydir River System
The first Aboriginal Cultural Advisor to advise on engagement approaches has been appointed for the Gwydir Selected Area.
Monitoring has found a whopping 15,443 invertebrate eggs. The most common were seed shrimp, tiny microcrustaceans that are a key link in the wetland food chain.
Tracking of Straw-Necked Ibises shows the mammoth journey some made from Murrumbidgee to spend time in Gwydir during 2021 floods.
More detailed information is available in the Gwydir Issue 8 newsletter.
Lachlan River System
Water for the environment was delivered at Booligal to provide greater access to refuge habitat for native fish and the southern bell frog and helped fill several River Red Gum-lignum wetlands that have previously supported colonial bird breeding.
Environmental water was also delivered to Noonamah Wetland to maintain the health of black box, groundcover vegetation and provide habitat for native animals.
Over the past 6 years of monitoring, the Lachlan has displayed a huge diversity of plants, with 359 species recorded.
More detailed information is available in the Lachlan Issue 8 newsletter.
Murrumbidgee River System
Golden perch supported by environmental water in Tala Creek in 2018-19 and 2020-21 are moving into the greater Murrumbidgee system, supporting the population across the catchment. Analysis shows these fish grew faster in the years the creek received environmental water.
Almost all the 18,000 pairs of ibis have departed following the breeding event earlier in the year that was supported by environmental water, boosting overall Basin populations.
More detailed information is available in the Murrumbidgee Issue 8 newsletter.
Edward/Kolety−Wakool river systems
Populations of native fish such as the small-bodied flathead gudgeon, Murray cod, silver perch and golden perch are showing signs of recovery since the 2016/17 flood/hypoxia event that caused substantial fish kills.
Tracking of short-necked turtles has revealed that they tend to spend dry periods in the river rather than wetlands, even if the wetland stays wet. Seems like a good strategy as most turtles have been making it through the season.
To help water managers and users plan their activities and communication, a recent survey asked what the people of the area think and feel about water for the environment. Look out for key results in a future outcomes newsletter.
More detailed information is available in the Edward/Kolety-Wakool Issue 8 newsletter.
Monitoring found lower flows during the summer months increase the total amount of algae and plant food for water bugs which become food for fish.
Young people from the Burnanga Indigenous Fishing Club attended a workshop on monitoring macroinvertebrates.
Lower flows during summer and targeted environmental watering have promoted the growth of bank vegetation.
More detailed information is available in the Goulburn Issue 8 newsletter.
Lower Murray River
A new video has been released showing three sampling techniques - electrofishing, larval fish tows and vegetation transects - used in the Lower Murray and wider Basin.
An “Indigenous Ecology in Action” workshop was held with Calperum Station ecologists and aboriginal rangers. High School students with indigenous background learnt a lot about the cultural value of the country, western science and traditional knowledge in the Lower Murray.
More detailed information is available in the Lower Murray Issue 8 newsletter.