River Restoration

The Corangamite CMA works in partnership with land owners, land managers and community groups to improve the health of the region’s waterways. Works carried out on waterways are listed below.

The Corangamite Waterway Strategy 2014-2022 guides the river restoration works in line with protecting and enhancing key environmental, economic and social values of waterways. See the strategy for the region's high-value waterways and program activities designed to protect and enhance the waterways' value.

Fencing to exclude stock from waterways
Excluding stock from rivers and creeks reduces the risk of damage to waterways and streamside vegetation. Stock trample native plants and pollute waterways with pathogens and nutrients through their wastes. 

Funding may be available through the Corangamite CMA for fencing along waterways.

Streamside revegetation

Native vegetation along a waterway is beneficial for river health by:


• stabilising stream banks
• providing habitat for streamside fauna
• shading and cooling water, which is important for fish
• decreasing the amount of nutrients and sediment in run off from adjacent land, which protects water quality
• falling brances in the water improving in-stream habitat.











Willow control


Willows growing in waterways can change the water’s path, causing erosion and river bank degradation. Willows and other woody weeds compete with local native plants and affect streamside habitat. The trees’ fibrous matted roots and autumn leaf fall can alter insect and fish habitat and ultimately their survival. Research has also shown that willows’ water use is significanttly greater than that of native trees.

Willows and other woody weeds are typically removed as part of a holistic river rehabilitation project which may also include fencing for stock exclusion, erosion control and revegetation. Local reports from the Gellibrand River indicate improved fishing following removal of willows and subsequent revegetation with indigenous species. 

Erosion control through engineered structures

There are many ways to protect waterways from erosion including constructing rock chutes and pile fields.

Rock chutes are a method of stabilising eroding river beds where a head cut occurs. A head cut is the upstream, active point of erosion where there is a dramatic increase in river bed slope. A rock chute is a grade control structure designed to cope with the high energy contained in flows. 

If you have erosion occuring in a waterway on your property, please contact the Corangamite CMA. 

Fish barrier mitigation

Fish barriers halt fish movement and include road crossings, stock crossings and weirs. These structures are either physical e.g. dams or weirs, or hydraulic e.g. fast flowing water through pipes, or behavioural barriers e.g. long dark tunnels, resulting in:
• restricted spawning migrations and movements to critical habitats
• reduced dispersal of juvenile fish
• large fish congregations downstream of the structure increases the risk of predation and disease
• genetically isolated populations upstream and downstream
• localised extinction of some species above the barrier.

Options to address barriers include:
• removal of unused weirs
• replacing pipe culverts with open box culverts
• mitigation by using rock ramps, vertical slot or other engineered fish ways.

Different fish species have different needs for movement, so designed fish ways must have the right slope, water velocities and resting areas for fish to hide or avoid predators.





The Index of Stream Condition (ISC) is a state-wide assessment of stream condition.


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