Paika Lake filled for the first time in a century
The Office of Environment and Heritage and a small group of landholders have managed the delivery of environmental flows to Paika Lake, 20 km north of Balranald. The 450 hectare lake had been kept dry due to a series of levees constructed more than a hundred years ago. Find out how this partnership helped more than 20,000 waterbirds, including three threatened species make the lake home.
Run time: 12:13 minutes
Birds flock back to the Gwydir wetlands
Watch this Prime7 news clip showing how natural flooding and the strategic delivery of environmental water coordinated by the Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH) have helped water birds thrive after years of drought:
Creek systems flourish after years without water
The Jimaringle, Cockran and Gwynnes Creek systems between Wakool and Deniliquin are reaping the benefits of environmental flows, with vegetation flourishing and water birds and frogs enjoying the improved conditions.
OEH has worked closely with local landholders to bring life back to the ailing 130km creek system, that travels through approximately 30 landholder properties located between the Edward and Murray Rivers.
To support the long term health of the environment, OEH is boosting natural water flows to deliver environmental water to the creek system. The environmental water flows began at the end of August 2012 and will continue into spring.
Environmental water at Gwynnes Creek. Sascha Healy/OEH
The health of the creek system suffered over the long dry period experienced in the last decade; Gwynnes Creek in particular has not had any substantial water flows for 40 years. So being able to leverage off the good wet conditions experienced in the last two years is a significant benefit for the system.
Monitoring inspections over the last two years in the Jimaringle and Cockran creeks have identified more than 20 waterbird species foraging in the creeks including egrets, cormorants and wood ducks.
Several different frog species have also been observed including pobblebonk, marsh and peron’s tree frogs. The painted burrowing frog was heard calling only days after the Gwynnes Creek environmental flows commenced.
The fringing River Red Gums, Black Box and Lignum and wetland vegetation such as Spike Rush and Duckweed have also shown improvement from the wet conditions.”
Up to 6,000 megalitres of environmental water in total from the NSW and Commonwealth government has been made available for delivery using Murray Irrigation Limited infrastructure.
Extra water helps fish in the Edward-Wakool river system
Dissolved oxygen levels are now being boosted in this popular fishing river system thanks to extra environmental water deliveries being coordinated by OEH.
Edward Escape - environmental water release into
Edward-Wakool river system. Emma Wilson/OEH
Recent rainfall and flooding throughout the catchment had caused extra organic material to be deposited into the river, resulting in a ‘blackwater’ effect and lowering dissolved oxygen levels to below 2 milligrams per litre. This may have been causing native fish such as the Murray cod and yellow belly to experience severe stress and possible death.
It is expected that by 30 June 2012, up to 60 gigalitres of environmental water will have been released into the Edward-Wakool river system, since environmental releases commenced in early April.
There are promising signs that the poor quality blackwater is being diluted and better quality habitat created for native fish and other aquatic fauna.The Edward River at Moulamein recently registered healthier oxygen levels of around 4 milligrams per litre and there have been very few reports of fish kills to NSW Fisheries and the Murray- Darling Basin Authority.
This initiative has been delivered in partnership with the Commonwealth, State Water Corporation, Murray CMA, Forests NSW, NPWS, NSW Office of Water, Fisheries NSW, the river operators and the local community. All the environmental water for this event was sourced from the Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder.
Watering the world's largest river red gum reserves
Celebrating World Wetlands Day 2 February and 2011 International Year of Forests
Run time: 3.13 minutes
View video transcript (ForestedWetlandsVideoTranscript.doc; 28 KB)
Lowbidgee Wetlands videos
Watch ABC TV News videos:
Birds from rejuvenated wetlands take flight (December 2010)
Water release revives Lowbidgee wetlands (September 2010)
The Lowbidgee Wetlands near Balranald come to life after 8200 megalitres of NSW and Commonwealth environmental water was released via the North Redbank channel in March and April.
Birds flocked and vegetation flourished as the water spread across the floodplain on seven private properties: 'Murrundi', 'Springbank', 'Glen Avon', 'Auley', 'Moola', 'Riverleigh' and 'Baupie'. View video transcript (LowbidgeeWetlandsVideoTranscript.doc; 34 KB)
Largest environmental flow floods Yanga National Park
Red gums, Yanga NP. Photo: Paul Childs/OEH
Piggery Lake, Yanga NP. Photo: J Maguire/OEH
Water flows to Tala Lake. Photo: James Maguire/OEH
Tala Lake. Photo: James Maguire/OEH
Find out more about Yanga National Park and environmental watering events.
Page last updated: 31 August 2012