The completion of work at Eckert’s Creek near Winkie in the River Murray National Park will improve water quality and provide benefits for fish and vegetation.
The installation of a new regulator and fishway has given the Department for Environment and Water the ability to increase water flows down the creek.
Program leader Dr Glenn Shimmin said increased flows would occur from mid-September until the end of November 2018.
“This project has been driven by the local community for the benefit of native fish and this is the first time that we have been able to provide these additional spring water flows,” he said.
“This faster flowing habitat will benefit large-bodied native fish, including Murray cod. The faster flows will also improve water quality and provide a refresh for the vegetation living along the creek lines.
“Plants growing within the edges will become inundated, which provides habitat for bugs, frogs and waterbirds.”
An old pipe that was removed was only capable of allowing a flow of 60 ML/day. Since completing the new regulator and fishway there has been around 280 ML/day flowing down the creek, which will increase to approximately 400 ML/day until the end of November.
“This water eventually flows into Katarapko Creek and then back into the River Murray so people may notice the ecological benefits throughout the Murray River National Park,” Dr Shimmin said.
“The regulator has been designed for flows of up to 1000ML/day which will be required when we are inundating over 1100 hectares of the floodplain once the new infrastructure has been built at Katarapko.”
The funding for the new regulator was part of the of the $155 million SA Riverland Floodplains Integrated Infrastructure Program, which is funded by the Australian Government through the Murray-Darling Basin Authority. The South Australian Government is implementing the program to improve the watering and management of River Murray floodplains in the Riverland.