FIVE years ago, you would have struggled to find the vulnerable Murray Darling rainbowfish in the Campaspe River.
They had never shown up in fish surveys, and when one was caught, it was big news.
As a small-bodied native, the rainbowfish is a critical part of the food chain for other fish, such as the critically endangered silver perch and the iconic Murray cod.
Today, the Murray Darling rainbowfish is the dominant species in the lower Campaspe River, and silver perch have been recorded for the first time in more than a decade.
On top of this, Murray cod are breeding for the first time in the Campaspe, and golden perch are entering from the Murray River.
“We cant be happier with the results we are seeing, in the Campaspe,” North Central Catchment Management Authority (CMA) environmental flows project manager Darren White said.
The North Central CMA is holding a free public forum at Rochester this month to speak with locals about the flows program, and listen to what they have to say about their local fishery.
“No one knows these rivers like the local residents and local anglers,” Mr White said. “They see the changes in river health first-hand”
The Getting Hooked on Flows forum will be held at the Rochester Football Netball Club Social Rooms in Reserve St from 6pm to 9pm on December 14.