River Murray, Euston, NSW. Photo by Arthur Mostead
River Murray, Hattah–Kulkyne National Park, Victoria. Photo by Arthur Mostead
River Murray near Cobram, Victoria. Photo by Arthur Mostead
The River Murray Channel is the main artery of the river. Extending over 2,000 km from the Hume Dam in Victoria to Wellington in South Australia, the channel links the forests, floodplains, wetlands and estuaries along the River Murray. It provides habitat for many native plants, fish and animals, while its banks support river red gum forests of high natural and cultural value.
Rather than specific ecological objectives, our vision for the River Murray Channel relates to river flows, barriers to native fish migration and maintenance of channel stability.
More information about the ecological objectives for the River Murray Channel
River Murray Channel icon site environmental water demands are currently under review. South Australia has identified specific targets for the Murray River Channel environmental site for 2012–13 that will provide riparian and wetland benefits and lateral and longitudinal connectivity between the river channel and floodplain. These targets will deliver flows that will benefit the Lower Murray, the Coorong and Murray Mouth. We will assess the site’s other environmental needs throughout the coming year.
During the millennium drought, the number of small-to-medium flow events in the River Murray Channel decreased significantly, causing a widespread decline in long-lived vegetation and lack of recruitment events. Major overbank flooding during late summer 2010 and unseasonal high flows in autumn 2012 enabled environmental recovery to begin, but continued recovery will depend on further flooding along the river.
A new environmental water management plan for the River Murray Channel is under development. This new plan will replace the 2006–07 environmental management plan.
The environmental works and measures program is funding the sea-to-Hume fishway program, aimed at restoring native fish passage from Hume Dam to the Murray Mouth.
We monitor the environmental health of the River Murray Channel to assess whether we are meeting its needs under The Living Murray objectives.
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