Extreme heat affects creeks

By Seymour Telegraph

The heat is taking its toll on waterways in the Goulburn and Broken River catchment area.

Low flows have been reported in numerous creeks including the Seven, Hughes, Hollands, Castles and King Parrot creeks.

Sections of the lower Broken River are also suffering from very low to no water flows.

Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority’s river health manager Mark Turner said the organisation had been closely monitoring the waterways in the past few months because of the extreme heat and below-average rainfall.

‘‘Some parts of the catchment received a small boost after rain in mid-December but given the dry conditions we’re experiencing there has been very little run-off into many of the region’s waterways,’’ Mr Turner said.

‘‘This recent spate of heat has seen many of the smaller creeks and waterways, which rely solely on rainfall and run-off for their flows, slow to a trickle.’’

Fortunately there have been no reports of fish deaths in the catchment.

‘‘The main risks to native fish are a drop in oxygen levels in the water as it warms up and becoming stranded in small, unconnected pools,’’ Mr Turner said.

‘‘Native fish and other aquatic wildlife generally try and move to shaded areas and deeper water during warmer weather, which is why the work we do with the community to re-snag and revegetate waterways to create and link cooler, deeper pools is so important.

‘‘Rain and run-off are the only ways to improve flows in most of these creeks. While we hope there is some decent rainfall on the horizon, the Bureau of Meteorology is predicting below average rainfall and hotter conditions for the rest of summer.’’

Fish deaths should be reported to the EPA Hotline on 1300372842.