Gippsland Lakes

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About the catchment

The Gippsland Lakes catchment comprises all of the Tambo River, Mitchell River, Thomson River and La Trobe River drainage basins including the Nicholson, Avon and Macalister riverine systems.

Major urban areas are found in the southern portion of the catchment and include Bairnsdale and Sale near the lakes, as well as Traralgon and Moe further inland.

Towns found in the northern part of the catchment are smaller and those near the inland boundaries include Warrugal, Noojee, Licola, Dargo and Omeo.

Values to be protected

Significant fishing industry, as well as heavy usage for recreational fishing and water based activities.

Ramsar site

Water quality issues

The Gippsland lakes are a significant hub for commercial and recreational fishing and recreational water use all of which is threatened by poor water quality. Extensive clearing of the catchment for agricultural and urban development has resulted in excessive nutrient loads to the lakes resulting in extensive annual algal blooms and fish kills.

Key water quality improvement projects

  • Gippsland's Water Quality Action Plan can be obtained from the West Gippsland Catchment Management Authority on 1300 094 262
  • Gippsland Lakes Coastal Action Plan
  • Preparation of Priority Acid Sulfate Soil Investigation for Gippsland Coast
  • Water Quality projects to protect the Gippsland Lakes and Corner Inlet Ramsar sites
  • Draft Ecological Character Descriptions for the Gippsland Lakes Ramsar site
  • Enhancement of Ecological Monitoring Programmes for the Gippsland Lakes Ramsar site
  • Modelling the effects of the 2006/07 Gippsland fires on catchment nutrient and sediment loads and development of mitigation strategies to protect the Gippsland Lakes Ramsar site

Key stakeholders / agencies

  • West Gippsland Catchment Management Authority
  • Environment Protection Authority
  • South Gippsland Water
  • Department of Sustainability and Environment
  • Department of Primary Industries
  • Department of Environment and Water Resources

Links