Coordinated by the North East CMA, this project is protecting and improving the environmental corridors of vegetation, natural wetlands and swamps that link the Lower Ovens to the Chiltern-Mt Pilot National Park and the Warby-Ovens National Park.

Achievements to date include:
  • 55 hectares of weeds on public and private land controlled through landholder incentive programs and partnerships with Parks Victoria. Weed species eradicated include Blackberries, Phalaris, Cotoneaster, Fraxinus species, Patterson’s curse and Briar.
  • identification and mapping of the nationally significant aquatic weed, the Arrowhead (Sagittaria graminea).

Planning is underway to establish a community interpretive centre for the Lower Ovens River involving several schools. The centre will be used by schools and the community to broaden the understanding of the ecology, water cycle and geomorphology of the river.

The Lower Ovens River is home to some iconic species of wildlife, such as the Brolga, Murray Cod and the Murray Spiny Crayfish. In 2018, Rutherglen Landcare released a YouTube video ‘Brolgas Dance Again’, which explains the importance of healthy rivers and wetlands to the survival of this magical bird.

A group of canoeists on the riverOther events to connect the community with the environment and improve understanding of the river included the Boorhaman Landcare Group canoe trip and the Murray Cod information sessions. Forty people joined a tour of the Ovens River run by the North East CMA, Ovens Landcare Network and Parks Victoria. The tour covered topics such as river health, stream flows, vegetation health, aquatic ecology and flood plain management.

The Lower Ovens River provides a critical water supply for the Murray River. This important river needs to be protected from the many threats and challenges including growing urban boundaries, conflicting land and water resource uses, climate change, pest animals and plants and pressures from tourism.

Watch video of the brolgas of Rutherglen.

above: Community canoe trip – Boorhaman Landcare. Photo credit: North East CMA.
below: Catchment planning. Photo credit: North East CMA.


North East CMA, Lower Ovens Landcare Network, Indigo Shire Council, Rural City of Wangaratta, Ovens Landcare Network, Yorta Yorta Nations, Wangaratta Sustainability Network, Goulburn Murray Water, Parks Victoria, Trust for Nature, DELWP, VicRoads, Murray Darling Fresh Water Research Centre, Swamps Rivers and Ranges and the Murray Wetland Working Group.

Members of the North East Catchment Management Authority at a planning meeting
The community involvement with the brolgas has been fantastic since the Rutherglen Landcare Group sort of initiated it and made the local people more aware of how important these brolgas are and that they live and breed here.
Kieren Raleigh, Rutherglen farmer

Page last updated: 28/06/19