Ovens River Demonstration Reach

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Demonstration Reaches are large scale river reaches or wetlands where several management interventions and monitoring is undertaken to display the cumulative benefits of river rehabilitation on native fish populations. The Ovens River Demonstration Reach is located near Wangaratta, Victoria. It spans approximately 21 km of river and includes a 2 km section of the Ovens River, from below the Wangaratta Weir to the Hume Highway crossing, and the King River, from its confluence with the Ovens River to 2 km upstream of the Hume Highway crossing. The aim of the Ovens River Demonstration Reach is to significantly improve the Ovens River fish community. The Ovens River was chosen as a Demonstration Reach because of its native fish species which include the iconic Murray Cod and the endangered Trout Cod. Several threats to the long-term survival of the Ovens River fish community have been identified, including poor water quality, stock access, introduced fish, barriers to fish passage, reduced water flows, poor riparian vegetation and loss of instream habitat. Rehabilitation strategies include: weed removal, fencing, riparian revegetation, re-snagging, modifying the weir, community education and signage. Major outcomes of these actions include: improved aquatic habitat conditions of the Ovens River, diverse and abundant native fish populations, enhanced opportunity for fish migration, and aware and engaged local communities.

Organisation North East Catchment Management Authority, Department of Sustainability and Environment, Murray-Darling Basin Authority, Ovens River community around Wangaratta

Scott Raymond, Department of Sustainability and Environment, Arthur Rylah Institute, ph. (03) 9450 8600

Funding Body Murray-Darling Basin Authority The Living Murray program, Go Fishing in Victoria initiative and co-funding from the Goulburn Broken CMA