Water to drop further

By Country News

Lake Mulwala will be lowered by 4.5m, a metre more than originally planned, to ensure effective weed control for the local community and the lake’s recreational users.

Murray-Darling Basin Authority river management head Andrew Reynolds said locals and visitors to Lake Mulwala and Yarrawonga Weir might have already noticed changes to water levels since the end of April when the draw-down started.

‘‘New information gathered from a survey of the extent of the highly invasive aquatic weed Egeria densa in Lake Mulwala has found that the weed is present at greater depths in the lake than previously thought,’’ Mr Reynolds said.

‘‘The original plan to lower the lake by 3.5m would not have exposed weed in these deeper locations. We have reviewed and considered this new information.

‘‘To ensure the draw-down is as effective as possible, with the best outcomes for the local community and recreational users, we have revised the draw-down to 4.5m below normal operating levels, which is a metre further than originally planned.

‘‘By lowering the lake further we can target a greater portion of the aquatic weed which was impacting on the lake’s usage, making it harder to swim, fish, launch boats and waterski.’’

The water level will continue to be reduced in the first few days of June until Lake Mulwala is 4.5m lower than normal.

The lake is expected to be held at this level until mid-July when refilling will start, bringing the lake back to its regular operating levels by early August.

‘‘The lowering will expose muddy lake flats,’’ Mr Reynolds said.

‘‘This will make it difficult to access the water’s edge and reduce the ability to launch boats from the boat ramps.

‘‘People will still be able to boat and fish in the main river channel that runs through the lake but will need to launch their boats upstream.’’