Birch's Creek is a tributary of Tullaroop Creek, in the upper Loddon catchment near Creswick. There are two main storages in the system—Newlyn Reservoir and Hepburn Lagoon—which regulate streamflows for urban and irrigation supply. Environmental water is held in and delivered from Newlyn Reservoir.
Our environmental water program targets reach three because it contains the vulnerable river blackfish population, and most irrigation supply is diverted before reaching this most downstream reach. Platypuses are also common in the creek.
In Birch's Creek these environmental flows are complemented by unregulated flows, consumptive water, and groundwater. Blackfish habitat reinstatement works have taken place in the lower part of Birch's Creek, and in future a concerted effort will be made to remove willows in upstream reaches.
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No water for the environment was used in Birch’s Creek during 2017-18. Flooding during spring flushed the system and replenished aquifers in the area. As a result, flows during summer were maintained mainly by groundwater intrusion into the system.
BIRCH'S CREEK AT A GLANCE
Water for the environment objectives:
- Maintain connectivity between pools and freshen pool water quality to support:
- Native fish such as river blackfish, mountain galaxis, flathead gudgeon and Australian smelt.
- Platypus and provide conditions to ensure resilience and aid dispersal into other systems (e.g. Tullaroop and Creswick creeks).
Water for the environment outcomes:
- Unregulated flows provided short duration freshening flows for the creek during summer-autumn, which were very similar to the recommended summer-autumn fresh flow rates.
- The gradual removal of willows from the creek will also contribute to flows being more hydrologically efficient in Birch’s Creek in future.