Water in, carp out at Thegoa Lagoon

After drying down over summer to a series of residual pools, a delivery of water to re-fill Thegoa Lagoon is planned for 2 May.

Australian pelican (Pelecanus conspicillatus)

Native fish, frogs, birds and turtles are expected to return to the lagoon, providing a wetland spectacle for locals and tourists alike.

The Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH) is managing the delivery of 1800 megalitres of NSW water to the popular community site in collaboration with Wentworth Shire Council.

The flow of water, beginning in May, is welcome news for residents and local tourism operators who are keen to see the lagoon restored to its picturesque best.

Les and Carol McWhinney own the Red Gum Lagoon Cottages on the banks of Thegoa Lagoon and are looking forward to the water arriving.

"As soon as the water comes in, that night you get the frogs croaking," Mr McWhinney said.

"The birds are never far behind and then there are the sunsets - just beautiful," he said.

Two bird hides provide vantage points for nature lovers to see Thegoa Lagoon's wildlife in action.

Visitors can expect to see dozens of waterfowl including egrets, pelicans and swans.

You can also listen out for a range of frogs known to make use of the lagoon including the banjo frog, Peron's tree frog, barking marsh frog, spotted marsh frogs and eastern sign-bearing froglet.

OEH Assistant Environmental Water Manager Sascha Healy said the delivery of water after a dry spell was part of a long term plan to restore a more natural cycle to the wetland.

"Wetlands like Thegoa Lagoon rely on a wet-dry cycle that allows wetland plants to grow, flower and set seed," Ms Healy said.

"These plants provide habitat for insects, frogs, fish and birds.

"One of the longer term aims of this restoration project is to develop Thegoa Lagoon's capacity as a nursery for small bodied native fish - a safe haven for native fish to potentially spawn and grow before returning to the river system.

"OEH removed around five tonnes of carp from the lagoon in 2014 and two carp screens were installed at either end to help keep adult carp from entering.

"This reduces competition for food among native fish like Australian smelt, bony bream, unspecked hardyhead and flathead gudgeons.

"The timing of this flow, during the cooler months, also reduces the risk of carp re-entering the system.

"This should be a great outcome for the river, the community and all the organisations that have worked toward the restoration of Thegoa Lagoon," she said.

Wentworth Shire Council is playing an important role in the restoration works. Staff have assisted with inlet channel preparation and will also help in operating the inlet regulator during the refilling process. OEH will closely monitor the outcomes of the watering.

Find out more about environmental water events visit the Water for the environment web page.  

Contact: Sarah Scroope