The Living Murray

The Flooding for Life project aims to provide environmental flows to Gunbower Creek and restore regular flooding to Gunbower Forest, ensuring the future health of this important wetland forest and the plants and animals that depend on water to flourish.

The project incorporates a combination of environmental watering, engineering works, monitoring, indigenous partnership programs and Community engagement. To date, the project has been largely funded through The Living Murray program.

Environmental Watering of Gunbower Forest

An environmental water allocation of 66 gigalitres, is being delivered to the forest using the newly constructed Hipwell Road infrastructure. The watering event started in late May and will continue through to October.

The delivery of the water is considered vital for sustaining the forest's unique River Red Gums, wetlands and wildlife.

Access to some parts of the forest may be restricted during June 2014 - January 2015 as the environmental water delivery spills out into the forest.  Popular camping and fishing areas along Gunbower Creek will still be accessible.

For further information on forest access, domestic firewood collection and camping, contact DEPI on 136 186 or visit the DEPI public access map at or Parks Vic on 13 19 63

Latest News

Environmental watering concludes for 2014

The first environmental watering of Gunbower Forest through the Hipwell Road Channel has now come to an end.

Since May 2014, when watering began, our ecologists Monitoring the forest have reported the welcome return of endangered native wetland plants - including River Swamp Wallaby-grass - followed by the successful breeding of the many small-bodied Australian native fish that rely on these indigenous plants for shelter.

In October and November, we successfully implemented our fish exit strategy, lowering inflows in a pulsing pattern resulted in tens of thousands of small-bodied native fish, such as Australian smelt and gudgeons, exiting Gunbower Forest's floodplain through the purpose-built fishlock at Hipwell Road.

More recently, our ecologists have noted a shift in the type of fish moving through the fishlock, with European carp being detected in higher numbers. Our Monitoring has also shown that some native fish continue to move during the night.

In response, the fishlock has now been turned off during the day to prevent young carp from moving into Gunbower Creek during daylight hours when they are highly active, while allowing native fish to migrate into the creek overnight.

As water levels recede, we will continue to closely monitor the response of Gunbower Forest, as new waves of native vegetation also find their place in this dynamic, ever-changing and now refreshed wetland ecosystem.

The beautiful Flooding for Life coffee table book is also available to view by clicking here. Due to the large size of this file it may take a few minutes to download, it also requires Adobe Flash Player to view correctly.

Flooding for life Community Newsletter

Additional information:

Project contacts:

Anna Chatfield
Gunbower Forest Project Manager

Kathryn Stanislawski
Gunbower Forest Project Manager