Gaynor Swamp will receive water for the environment over the coming weeks to maintain the health of the wetland’s vegetation and provide habitat for a variety of frogs and waterbirds including brolga.
Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority (CMA) Environmental Water Manager Simon Casanelia said this would be the first-time water set aside for the environment had been delivered to the wetland, which is part of the Corop lakes system.
“For a number of years the local community has been asking for environmental flows to be delivered to the wetland and now, because we have suitable infrastructure in place, we can deliver up to 500 megalitres,” Mr Casanelia said. “This will partially fill the wetland, which holds approximately 1900 megalitres when full. The timing aims to mimic the more natural wetting and drying patterns of the wetland before they were altered by weirs, dams and channels.”
A recent aerial image of the wetland was used to create a model of the wetland that will be used to inform the ongoing planning, management and monitoring of environmental water delivery.
“Our staff will monitor water depth and quality along with the response of vegetation, frogs and waterbirds,” Mr Casanelia said.
Gaynor Swamp is managed by Parks Victoria and is listed in A Directory of Important Wetlands in Australia.
Cornella Local Area Planning Implementation Committee Deputy Chair John Avard said the Community Local Area Planning processes had been in action since 2000 and local members were pleased to see works progressing.
“This will be great for waterbirds, particularly the brolga,” Mr Avard said. “To protect the chicks, the swamps need water to keep the foxes out. Those of us who live around here really value the wetland and the wildlife it attracts. We're pleased that water for the environment will be used to improve and protect this special spot. Hands-on management like adding water requires some careful balancing between environmental and agricultural interests and discussions are ongoing between landholders and broader interest groups.”
Environmental flows are planned by the Goulburn Broken CMA in consultation with the Victorian Environmental Water Holder, Commonwealth Environmental Water Office and managed by Goulburn-Murray Water in line with the Victorian Environmental Water Holder’s Seasonal Watering Plan 2017-18. Timing of the environmental flows takes into consideration delivery orders by irrigators and other water users and feedback from the community via the Goulburn Broken CMA’s environmental water advisory groups. If you are interested in participating in the environmental water advisory groups, please contact the Goulburn Broken CMA.
More information about environmental flows can be found here or phone (03) 5822 7700.