Water for the Environment Summer 2023-24

The Wimmera is an ideal base for angling adventures, with many lakes and rivers including the iconic Wimmera River, which is the home of a variety of fish and the habitat that supports them.

Latest studies show angling has become the most influential driver of social and economic value of Wimmera waterways.

Wimmera CMA, with Wimmera Southern Mallee Development and GWMWater, has been tracking 25 waterways for the past seven years to measure how water for the environment contributes to social and economic health.

Surveys found 282,142 people used waterbodies for recreation and generated an estimated $30.64 million for the region in 2022-23. They also found a 12.2 percent increase in day and overnight visits from people compared with the previous year.

And an Australia-wide whole new audience is about to see why.

Australian Fishing Network, as guest of Horsham Rural City Council, has been filming in the region and exploring why the river is the perfect launching pad for all-season anglers. Seven Mate will broadcast the Wimmera fishing adventures on The Fishing Show in 2024. 

Wimmera CMA took advantage of water for the environment allocations and water-temperature spawning levels to find out whether it could stimulate Yellowbelly breeding in the Wimmera River.

The CMA worked with Horsham Rural City Council in managing Horsham weir to vary flows and simulate a high natural flow.

Monitoring at Horsham, Dimboola and Jeparit weirs failed to reveal obvious spawning. However, the CMA will continue monitor for increases in fish populations. We thank everyone who submitted their Yellowbelly catches and observations.

The CMA worked with GWMWater to prevent the spread of undesirable pest fish in Mt William Creek, a Wimmera River tributary. This involved removing 51 carp and 1675 goldfish carp via netting and electrofishing from Lake Lonsdale outlet and Green Hole.

As natural waterway flows reduce this summer, the CMA will release ‘low’ environmental flows when needed to keep refuge pools connected. Higher flows over shorter periods, also called ‘freshes’, might also occur to improve water quality and support community needs. Rain in the catchment will influence these flows.

We acknowledge the Traditional Owners and other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples across the region and pay respect to Elders past, present and emerging.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are advised that this website may contain images of people who have died.