NCCMA Media Release: Australian first screen protecting native fish

18 Jun 2018

In an Australian first, countless numbers of native fish will be saved thanks to Victorian designed and made screening.

Member for Northern Victoria Mark Gepp said Australia’s first irrigation diversion channel fish screen will be positioned in front of the Cohuna Number 3 Channel regulator, in the Cohuna Weir pool, and will stop fish and their larvae getting through.

Each year hundreds of thousands of native fish and lave are lost from the Gunbower Creek and the Murray River system as fish move into irrigation channels.

Once in irrigation channels, the fish are lost to the natural system forever, having a negative impact on breeding and population numbers of native fish including the vulnerable Murray cod.

While not slowing delivery rates, the screen will stop any floating weed from getting into the channel and choking up irrigation pumps.

Recreational fishing contributes about $500 million to the region’s economy each year, healthy native fish are vital to the sector and the community.

The Andrews Labor Government’s statewide water plan – Water for Victoria – acknowledges the recreational values of our water resources and the need to consider these in how we manage water.

Victoria’s water storages, lakes, wetlands, rivers and streams provide bountiful fishing opportunities as well as flow-on economic benefits for tourism and local economies.

The Labor Government is investing $222 million over four years to improve the health of our waterways and catchments, including restoring fish habitat. The irrigation diversion channel fish screen project is being delivered by the North Central Catchment Management Authority.

Quotes attributable to Member for Northern Victoria Mark Gepp

“Irrigators, the environment and the local economy will all benefit from this exciting Victorian project – an Australian first.”

“We’re committed to delivering recreational fishing opportunities for locals and visitors, and this is an excellent outcome for the vulnerable Murray cod.”


North Central CMA Media
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PO Box 18, Huntly Vic 3551