Environmental water release buoy protects Hunter River health and native fish

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A close-up of the bubbly water flowing over the Hunter River over the weir. Golden light and quiet trees are reflected in the sparkling river surface in the background.

This multi-agency project was led by the NSW Department of Planning and Environment (DPE), and monitoring by Newcastle University showed that fish successfully migrated downstream across Liddell Weir during environmental water releases.

Joe Thompson of DPE’s Department of Biodiversity and Conservation said around 14 gigabytes of water was removed from Glenbourne Dam during optimal water temperatures and times in June to help fish migrate downstream across key fish barriers. It is said that liters of environmental water were released.

“This is a great result. Native fish such as Australian bass were able to migrate across Liddell Weir during high water levels, meaning the fish migration and reproduction cycle could continue,” said Thompson. Stated.

The Upper Hunter is seeing the first signs of drought conditions this year, with below-average rainfall and above-average temperatures. The Bureau of Meteorology has declared an El Niño event and predicted lower-than-average river flows for the Hunter region in the short term (for the next three months).

“While losses to river systems are still relatively low, it was important to harness environmental waters to extend the benefits of the wet conditions experienced during the 2021-22 La Niña year,” Thompson said. Ta.

“Many people don’t realize that releasing water into the environment can support overall river health by strengthening food chains and ecosystems.

The University of Newcastle completed monitoring before, during and after the release of environmental water and found that the release of environmental water successfully moved fish downstream across Liddell Weir.

The release of water into the environment was carried out in partnership with the Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries, DPE Department of Environment and Heritage, WaterNSW and Newcastle University.

Images and footage are available via Dropbox.

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