Waterways in the Mallee

Rivers and Wetlands

Rivers, wetlands and their associated anabranches and floodplains are a defining feature of the Mallee region, as the health of these waterways and floodplains are fundamental to the region’s environmental, social and economic future.

The goal for the River and Wetland Health unit is “To protect and improve waterway, wetland and floodplain health, taking account of the ecosystem and recreational services these provide to the people of the Mallee and other users downstream.”

The north and east of the Mallee region is dominated by the Murray River, its anabranches, distributor channels and associated wetland systems. In the south east of the region north-flowing intermittent streams, including the Yarriambiack Creek and Outlet Creek terminate in a number of ephemeral wetland complexes including the Wirrengren Plain, Lake Corrong and Lake Lascelles. In the east, two effluent streams of the Avoca River system, Tyrrell Creek and Lalbert Creek, empty into a number of large terminal saline wetlands, including lakes Timboram and Tyrrell.

The wetlands, river channels and riparian vegetation of the region’s waterways and floodplains provide diverse habitat for a variety of aquatic and terrestrial species and also provide important ecological services. The protection of these assets from a range of threatening processes, and their restoration, are ongoing priorities.

Program Objectives

Core projects comprising the Rivers and Wetlands Program include:

  • Implementation of riparian and waterway works and activities along the Murray River and other priority reaches in the Mallee;
  • Continuing to implement the Murray-Darling Basin Authority’s The Living Murray Works and Measures Program at the Hattah Lakes and at Lindsay, Wallpolla and Mulcra Islands;
  • Implementation of complementary works and activities to maximise the water management benefits of the Murray-Darling Basin Authority’s The Living Murray Works and Measures Program;
  • Delivery of projects aimed at understanding and addressing regional threats to the nationally threatened Murray Cod and Murray Hardyhead and other significant rare or threatened aquatic or riparian species;
  • Continued regional delivery of the Mallee Waterwatch Program to improve community awareness of, and engagement in and to assist in monitoring of the key projects for river health management issues;
  • Activities aimed at improved wetland and environmental water reserve (EWR) management in the Mallee, including the continued implementation of the Donated and Emergency Red Gum Watering programs and works at priority wetlands;
  • Projects aimed at protecting priority refugia, critical habitat and significant vegetation communities affected by or at risk from continuing dry climatic conditions in the Murray Darling Basin and dry inflows to the Murray River system.
  • Supporting the protection of priority crown water frontages and development and implementation of new agreements for these frontages.
  • Supporting in the development and implementation of state wide Victorian Strategy for Healthy rivers, Wetlands and Estuaries.

Seasonal Watering Plans

Please see the following link to the Victorian Environmental Water Holder website which describes the seasonal watering plan for this year. 

For more information on environmental watering priorities in the Victorian Mallee in 2019-20, check out these fact sheets on the lower Murray wetlands and Wimmera-Mallee Pipeline wetlands.