In the Murray and Lower Darling catchments in 2017–18, managed watering events resulted in significant ecological outcomes for native fish, habitat condition and system productivity.
In the Murray catchment, water storages were near capacity, paving the way for the delivery of 334 gigalitres of water for the environment across 18 events targeting waterways, floodplains and multiple private property wetlands.
Co-ordinated flows involving water managers from 3 states and the Australian Government achieved multiple outcomes by connecting the river system and floodplain wetlands on a landscape scale. These carefully managed events:
- triggered breeding and movement of native fish
- provided a boost in river productivity to underpin the aquatic food web
- supported a myriad of wetland plants that provide important habitat instream and across the surrounding floodplains.
The threatened southern bell frog was the focus of water delivered into 11 private wetlands during spring using the Murray Irrigation system and private pumping. Southern bell frogs were recorded at all targeted sites and juveniles observed at several locations indicated successful breeding.