Thriving Goulburn River ecosystem eliminates need for 2023 Autumn fresh

The Goulburn Broken CMA have announced that the 2023 Autumn Fresh will not occur. This follows the October 2022 flooding of the Goulburn River. This is a great result for recreational fishers, who are rejoicing in the river’s condition since water levels have receded. Local fishers have been concerned about possible damage consumptive water (IVT) would cause following the floods. 

The flood event has resulted in unique environmental conditions along the Goulburn River. Scientists have advised that the 2023 Autumn fresh is not required as the ecological outcomes targeted for vegetation, fish and instream conditions have already been met this year and delivery of the fresh may lead to adverse outcomes. 

Scientists have been monitoring the river and recorded large numbers of Carp moving into the Goulburn River. The scientists have concluded that an Autumn fresh would cause damage to new and immature vegetation. Scientists have noted that native fish dispersal and movement will have occurred with the flooding and the fresh will not provide significant feeding or life cycle benefits. They have also found bands of new seedlings and sedges growing on the water’s edge are still maturing. Delivery of the Autumn fresh would likely negatively impact on their growth.

Future delivery of consumptive water (IVT) to the Murray River may occur under the draft operating rules. Details of any deliveries can be found on the GMW website Managing Water Storages – Goulburn Murray Water (

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