Prioritising fish research for flow management in the Murray-Darling Basin

Effective natural resource management requires timely knowledge exchange between researchers and managers to support evidence-based decision making. To achieve this, it is essential that we align research outputs so that they support the current needs of management, policy and on-ground actions. The lifecycles of fishes are inextricably linked to flow, and in the Murray-Darling Basin (MDB), one of the most regulated river systems in the world, flow management is considered fundamental to river health and the restoration of fish populations. This project aimed to identify knowledge gaps regarding the flow-related ecology of freshwater fish to direct research to better inform environmental water management. Our major objective was to provide an up-to-date synthesis of knowledge pertaining to the flow-related ecology of fishes, from both scientific and management perspectives, and to use this to guide fish research for the MDB-Environmental Water Knowledge and Research (EWKR) project. We reviewed the contemporary scientific knowledge base and documented the knowledge needs of the managers providing water for fish outcomes.