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Goulburn Broken Case Study

Environment right for native fish 

Location

Seven, King Parrot, Hughes and Hollands creeks

Outputs

  • 4 Fauna assessments 
  • 4 Publications 
  • 1.87km of fencing 
  • 2.75ha of revegetation 
  • 3 Management agreements 

Investment

Victorian Government – Waterway Health Program  

Partners

Arthur Rylah Institute 
Parks Victoria 
DELWP 
Australian Platypus Conservancy 

Regional strategies

Goulburn Broken Regional Waterway Strategy

The Millennium Drought and summers of 2015-2016 and 2019 were tough for native fish populations in Goulburn Broken waterways but there’s been good news this year with fish numbers thriving due to habitat restoration and good rainfall. 

Native fish are flourishing in the Goulburn River system. Works to protect the riparian zone and create instream habitat have supported the increase in the Seven, King Parrot, Hughes and Hollands creeks. 

Fencing off the riparian area from livestock, enhancing habitat connectivity and vegetation diversity has helped protect the water quality in the creeks and create the ideal environment for native fish. 

These works also help build resilience in the waterways so that when there are challenges such as low-flow conditions, the impacts on the fish are reduced. 

Seven Creeks is unique due to its populations of two nationally endangered fish species – Macquarie Perch and Trout Cod. Of the 437 fish recorded in the creek’s February 2022 fish survey, 200 were Trout Cod and 129 were Macquarie Perch. In some sections of the creek, the Macquarie Perch numbers were the highest they’ve been since 2017. The adult population of Trout Cod increased in one reach by 30% in the past 12 months. 

Long-term fish survey results from King Parrot Creek indicate it has one of the healthiest populations of Macquarie Perch in the Goulburn catchment. The Perch were the most abundant native species recorded in the 2022 survey of the creek and all were in excellent condition. 

An increase in the relative abundance of river blackfish indicates the species is also beginning to recover from the cease-to-flow period in 2019. 

The number of southern pygmy perch was slightly less in 2022 than the previous year but the species continues to show recovery from the Millennium Drought when they were undetected between 2006 and 2013. 

In addition to impressive native fish numbers, a platypus baby boom was noted in King Parrot Creek. Sixteen platypuses were recorded in a survey carried out by the Australian Platypus Conservancy, including three very healthy juvenile males and six females. 

Fish surveying in King Parrot Creek, Goulburn Broken CMA.

Fish surveying in King Parrot Creek, Goulburn Broken CMA.