In the Border Rivers region, the NSW Government worked with the Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder and Queensland Government to deliver the Northern Fish Flow, which began in April 2019.
The flow aimed to support native fish in the northern basin by:
- replenishing river pool levels
- increasing availability of food
- creating opportunities for native fish to move within the river system.
Water release from the Glenlyon Dam on Pike Creek in the Queensland Border Rivers region flowed across the border into the NSW Border Rivers catchment. This flow inundated a 500-kilometre stretch of the system including stretches of the Dumaresq, Macintyre and Barwon rivers.
At the same time, water was released from Copeton Dam, destined for the Barwon River via the Mehi system.
It was hoped the two flows would meet, however, the Border Rivers flow stopped just short of its junction with the Mehi River.
Although the two flows did not meet, the event topped up waterholes along the length of its passage, supporting aquatic vegetation which provides habitat for native fish.
Monitoring work suggests that a healthy population of Murray cod lives in the Border Rivers, which will help replenish other populations when wetter conditions return to the system.
Community information events were held in 10 locations co-ordinated by the Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder in collaboration with DPIE–EES, including attendance by Murray–Darling Basin Authority and Natural Resources Access Regulator. Communities welcomed the water after such a long dry period, with many people observed fishing. Along the way this flow provided a ‘top-up’ to weirs providing town water supply.