LAST year’s floods which caused extensive damage across the south-west improved the health of the region’s river systems and estuaries.
However, the extra volume has also brought troublesome carp further downstream in the Glenelg River.
According to the Glenelg Hopkins Catchment Management Authority’s (CMA) annual report, a more cost-effective program is needed to control the fish. The report said higher natural flows in the Glenelg had been combined with increased allocations from the Wimmera River.
About 20 gigalitres of water was released from Rocklands Reservoir near the Grampians into the Glenelg — the largest annual volume released for environmental flows since the reservoir was built in 1953.
“The CMA has monitored the impact of environmental flows and has documented the improvements to river health,” the report said. “It is also good to see continued protection of waterway reaches, wetlands and significant vegetation through our grants and incentives to landholders.”
Chief executive Kevin Wood and board chairman Michael Wagg said major repairs and improvements following the 2010-11 floods increased preparedness for and resilience to future floods.
“Studies identifying flood levels and mitigation options are proceeding for five towns in the region, planning scheme amendments are being prepared to better include flood information, municipal flood plans are being updated and improved warning infrastructure is being introduced,” they said.
“All of these will be possible through increased Victorian government support and will continue for the next three years working closely with local government.”
Using disaster relief funding, the authority organised 54 kilometres of new fencing and repaired another 21km, revegetated 80 hectares and removed weeds from 366ha.
Studies into the Hopkins River flooding at Wickliffe showed it was the largest flood event since measurements began in the 1920s.
This study and another on the Skipton floods are expected to be completed by next month.
The authority finished the financial year with a $231,000 deficit, compared with a $2.4m surplus for 2010-11.
Total revenue was down by a million dollars and total expenditure up by $1.6m.
Funding from the state government dropped by $600,000 less and Canberra funding was down by $115,000 while other revenue sources were down by almost $300,000.