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A breather for the Campaspe River

Close up of a river running over rocks
20 Feb 2024

The Campaspe River is getting some much-need respite, after summer storms, flash flooding, high irrigation demand, and a spilling Lake Eppalock made it a challenging couple of months its vegetation, fish, and platypus.

“Climate change means our creeks and rivers are getting less water overall, but when it comes it can be more intense and unseasonal,” North Central Catchment Management Authority Environmental Flows Project Manager Darren White said.

“The changing conditions have had a significant impact on the Campaspe, so we need to make sure it gets the right amount of water at the right time.

“We plan to deliver water for the environment over the next few months to help the river recover.”

The first of up to three autumn freshes will begin in late February or early March, targeting the stretch of the river from Rochester to Echuca.

“That section in particular has had a lot of disturbance, so we’ll aim to improve water quality and create the right conditions for fish and platypus movement,” Mr White said.

“Plants on the banks that were established after the floods will also need a drink, and in-stream vegetation will benefit from these flows.”

The first flow will be about 700 megalitres over three days, with other similar-sized flows planned for late March and April.  

“We’ll monitor water quality over the next few months, as we do all the time, and work around irrigation delivery if we can,” Mr White said.

“We are engaging with flood-affected communities about our management of water for the environment and will continue to do so.”

The flows are authorised by the Victorian Environmental Water Holder in line with its Seasonal Watering Plan 2023-24.

The Plan is available for download from, with regular watering updates posted on the North Central CMA website.