Lake Mulwala on rise again

By Cobram Courier

Lake Mulwala is on the rise after it was lowered in winter for successful weed control and completion of works around the lake foreshore.

Murray-Darling Basin Authority river management head Andrew Reynolds said locals and visitors to Lake Mulwala and Yarrawonga weir might not notice changes to water levels until early next month.

‘‘We are starting to refill Lake Mulwala to its normal operating level, which should happen by early August in time for the new irrigation season,’’ Mr Reynolds said.

‘‘Stream flows from the Kiewa and Ovens rivers are being used to help refill the lake, along with water releases from Hume dam. The actual completion of refilling the lake is dependent on the amount of rain that falls in the catchments.

‘‘It’s been great to see the community interest generated by the lowering of the lake. We originally planned to lower it by 3.5m and then revised it down by another 1m to ensure effective weed control,’’ he said.

Goulburn-Murray Water managing director Pat Lennon said the lake’s winter drawdown was important because it allowed for effective control of the highly invasive aquatic weed Egeria densa.

‘‘By lowering the lake we can target the aquatic weed which the community told us was impacting on the lake’s usage, making it harder to swim, fish, launch boats and water ski,’’ he said.

‘‘Throughout the drawdown we’ve seen the weed dry out and die off, which has been helped by the dry conditions of late. We also had half-a-dozen or so good frosts, which helps kill off the Egeria.

‘‘Along with reducing the weed’s impact on recreational activities we used the opportunity to upgrade the retaining wall along the Yarrawonga foreshore and made some improvements to boat ramps.’’

Mr Lennon appreciated the community support for the weed removal process.

‘‘We recognise the impact on recreation, however management of weed infestation is important for lake health as well as managing infestations into G-MW’s channel systems.’’