Opening of Wreck Creek triggers fish migration

Wreck Creek in Inverloch has opened naturally to the ocean after high rainfall and freshwater flows increased the height of the water in the creek and broke through the build-up of sand at its mouth.

West Gippsland Catchment Management Authority (WGCMA) Waterway Project Officer, Matt Khoury, said the recent natural opening would have triggered a number of natural processes, including native fish migration.

“Prior to this natural opening, the Creek was opened artificially in early July after high rainfall and freshwater flows, prior to this the Creek had been closed for almost a year,” explained Matt.

“There was a lot of sand built up at the mouth of Wreck Creek prior to the July opening.

“This was due to low rainfall and freshwater flows in 2015, and ocean conditions that deposited a significant amount of sand at the mouth during this period.

“Following the July artificial opening, large ocean swells quickly closed the mouth of the Creek again.

“Recent high rainfall provided the ideal conditions for the recent natural opening.

“The natural opening, combined with the high freshwater flows, will have encouraged many native fish to migrate as part of their lifecycle, with spring being a very important time for this.

“Wreck Creek is a fascinating and important habitat to many species including the Eastern Great Egret and Australasian bittern which are listed as vulnerable and endangered.

“While the Creek was closed, these birds will have enjoyed feeding along the Creek’s margins amongst the woody branches and tall reeds finding juvenile fish and other things to eat,” continued Matt.

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