The upper North Central catchment region is part of the riverine plains land system which was largely covered by grasslands and grassy woodlands prior to European settlement. These vegetation types are now restricted to small but significant areas of both public and private land. Ecological Vegetation Classes (EVCs) are numerous throughout the lower catchment region. EVC data exists for public land only around Bendigo, Castlemaine, Maryborough, St Arnaud, Wedderburn and some patches in between.
Remnant forests and woodlands in North Central are confined mainly to rivers and floodplains, with isolated pockets scattered throughout the region. Large River Red Gum forests, including the Barmah and Gunbower, are under threat from changed flooding regimes and a reduction in Gum forests for timber production has resulted in a fall in the amount of mature remnant forest in the region (the former DNRE, 1997).