Does flow determine freshwater fish spawning in the Murray River, Australia? Implications for environmental flow management.

Alison Jane King, Daniel Gwinn, Zeb Tonkin, John Mahoney, Scott Raymond, Leah Beesley

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference Paper published in Proceedingspeer-review


    Species - specific, flow - biotic relationships are increasingly being used to determine environmental flow ne eds in flow - degraded river systems. However, describing these relationships can be challenging, as other environmental variables may also influence biotic outcomes from environmental flows. This study evaluated the relationships between a range of environm ental covariates and spawning intensity of an assemblage of fish using a ten - year dataset in the mid - Murray River, Australia. Our hierarchical multi - species model , that incorporated factors accounting for imperfect sampling detection, demonstrated that tem perature was an important predictor of spawning intensity for all seven species studied, while both concurrent and antecedent flow conditions were important for a number of species. This suggests that both temperature and flow influence the timing and stre ngth of spawning for many species. We also compared the relative spawning outcomes across species using realistic alternative management scenarios; with the aim of optimising spawning outcomes for native fish, whilst reducing outcomes for non - native fish. This study highlights the benefits of long - term datasets for determining flow - biotic relationships, and demonstrates the importance of considering flow and non - flow factors in managing environmental flows.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationProceedings of the 11th International Symposium on Ecohydraulics
    EditorsJA Webb, JF Costelloe, R Casas-Mulet, JP Lyon, MJ Stewardson
    Place of PublicationBarton, ACT
    PublisherEngineers Australia
    ISBN (Electronic)978-0-7340-5339-8
    Publication statusPublished - 2016
    EventInternational Symposium on Ecohydraulics (ISE 2016) - Melbourne, Australia, Melbourne, Australia
    Duration: 7 Feb 201612 Feb 2016
    Conference number: 2016


    ConferenceInternational Symposium on Ecohydraulics (ISE 2016)
    Abbreviated titleISE
    Internet address


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