The Narran lakes wetland ecosystem comprises the terminal lakes and surrounding floodplains of the Narran River in the Condamine-Balonne Catchment and includes the internationally significant Ramsar-listed Narran Lake Nature Reserve. The Narran lakes are one of the most significant bird breeding sites in the Murray-Darling Basin, with a colony of about 200,000 breeding pairs recorded in 1983, and over 70,000 pairs of Ibis as recently as 2008.
Purchase of Water Access Licences
Purchase of water entitlement for the Narran Lakes has not been actively pursued by RERP. However, the Commonwealth has initiated a large scale water purchase program in the Condamine-Balonne Catchment.
Monitoring of environmental flows
Back Lake guaging station. Photo: Michael
Three surface-water gauges have been installed at Wilby Wilby, Back Lake and Bundah to provide real-time information to assist in the management of river flows and bird breeding events. Rainfall, water quality, air and water temperature upstream within the Narran Lake Nature Reserve Ramsar site are recorded.
Narran River fish passage remediation
Fish sampling conducted by the University of New England in 2008 suggested that if native fish communities and the ecology of these sensitive wetlands are to be managed effectively in the Narran floodplain it is essential that the issue of fish passage and hydrological connectivity be addressed.
RERP has funded a study to investigate the structures along the Narran River to assess low flow and fish passage performance. Non-binding agreements have been made with landholders as an indication of their support in case funds for on-ground works are available in the future. Landholder support is contingent in most cases on the provision of an alternative stock and domestic water supply.
Decision Support System
RERP developed a Decision Support System for the Narran Lakes to integrate relevant scientific research, and will assist scientists and environmental water managers to compare scenarios relating water delivery (volume and timing) to ecological outcomes and allow for the testing of ecological implications of water sharing plans developed by Queensland for the Condamine–Balonne system.
Page last updated: 07 May 2012