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Hopes rise as all the rivers run

Patrick Edwards and son Callum Driscoll catching yellow belly at Bourke Weir as the Darling River rises from flooding rains in the catchment. Photo TWH

For the first time in years, the rivers are flowing across the Darling River basin following good rain in March.

Flood warnings have been issued for the Barwon, Paroo, Bulloo, Warrego, Condamine-Balonne, Macintyre, Weir, Moonie, Gwydir, Namoi, Castlereagh, Bogan, and Macquarie Rivers.

A flood peak is currently in the lower reaches of the Macintyre River, and this peak, combined with floodwater from other streams, has the potential to cause major flooding along the Barwon River at Mungindi next week.

As the flood water moves downstream major flooding may occur at Mogil Mogil and Collarenebri.

The Barwon River at Mungindi may reach the major flood level of 7.2 metres on Wednesday 7 April, the major flood level of 8.3 metres during the second week in April, and the major flood level of 8.9m at Collarenebri during the third week of April.

The Bureau of Meteorology will make predictions about Walgett, Brewarrina, and Bourke once the upstream peaks are observed.

The water in the Border Rivers will combine with flows in other tributaries to push water right down the Barwon and darling Rivers, and fill Menindee Lakes, according to one local observer.

Spokesman for Barwon-Darling Water, Ian Cole, says the amount of rainfall in recent weeks had produced enough runoff to refresh the Menindee Lakes and to provide a flow to the Murray.

“We will definitely see a good flush for the river, full weir pools for a long time, full storages for local irrigators and a good river for graziers, downstream communities, and the environment,” Mr Cole said.

“Happy days are here again, and I’ve been down to the weir and all around the favourite fishing spots on the Darling, and the fish are biting, and will be biting all over the Easter weekend.”

The rainfall didn’t break any records, but according to WaterNSW, it was significant enough for farmers and irrigators to be able to look to the future.

In Bourke, the Darling River is rising and although it won’t reach the levels of the 2011 or 2012 floods, it will provide some certainty for the next season.

Read more local news in the printed edition of The Western Herald.

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