Skip to content
   
 

The Wimmera-Mallee wetlands include 51 wetlands on public and private land spread across north-west Victoria.

The Wimmera-Mallee wetlands continue to hold significance for the Traditional Owners and their Nations. The Registered Aboriginal Parties (RAPs) in the region are the Barengi Gadjin Land Council Aboriginal Corporation and Dja Dja Wurrung Clans Aboriginal Corporation. Representatives of the RAPs were engaged during the preparation of the Wimmera-Mallee wetlands seasonal watering proposal.

System map

Environmental watering objectives in the Wimmera-Mallee wetlands

bird icon
Provide resting, feeding and breeding habitat for waterbirds and other native birds
Frog icon
Provide habitat and food to maintain frogs and turtles
Plant icon
Maintain and improve plant life in and around the wetlands including fringing lignum, river red gum and black box communities

Environmental values

There are a wide range of wetland types in the WimmeraMallee wetlands system including freshwater meadows, open freshwater lakes and freshwater marshes. This diversity is important to provide a range of different wetland habitats for plants and animals in the western part of the state. The wetlands also vary in size, consist of many different vegetation communities and are home to native waterbird populations including brolgas, egrets, blue-billed ducks, freckled ducks, Australian painted snipes and glossy ibis. The wetlands are used by the vulnerable growling grass frog, turtles and many other native animals that rely on them as drought refuges and drinking holes. Rare and vulnerable vegetation species (such as spiny lignum, ridged water milfoil and cane grass) are also present in some wetlands.

Social and economic values

The Wimmera-Mallee wetlands are highly valued by the community and provide places for recreational activities including canoeing, camping, yabbying, duck and quail hunting and birdwatching.

Conditions 2018

The Wimmera-Mallee received near-average rainfall in winter/spring 2017–18 and some of the wetlands filled naturally. The allocation to the wetland environmental entitlement increased to 25 percent in October 2017, but dry conditions through summer and autumn prevented further allocations for the year.

Water for the environment was delivered to 46 WimmeraMallee wetlands in 2017–18: 27 wetlands in the Mallee area, seven in the north-central area and 12 in the Wimmera area. Deliveries were made in winter/spring 2017 and autumn/winter 2018 to maintain and improve ecological outcomes from natural or managed flows in previous years. Some wetlands received water once during 2017–18, while others received multiple deliveries to maintain their water-dependent values.

Water for the environment delivered to the Wimmera-Mallee wetlands maintained and improved the health of native plants and provided feeding and breeding habitat for many
animals (such as lace monitors, kangaroos, wallabies, turtles, carpet pythons, egrets, herons, ducks, grebes, stilts and other water and woodland birds, frogs, yabbies and eastern long-necked turtles). Aquatic and fringing plant communities in wetlands that received water (naturally or through managed deliveries) in 2017–18 have responded well, with flushes of new growth including of nardoo, water milfoil, water ribbons, black box, lignum and cane grass.

Water for the environment was delivered to the Tchum Lakes wetland for the first time in 2017–18. The autumn delivery caused thousands of waterbirds to flock to the wetland and many frogs used the wetland for feeding and breeding.

Scope of environmental watering

Table 1 shows potential environmental watering actions and their environmental objectives. Watering actions for the Wimmera-Mallee wetlands will typically be in winter/ spring 2018 or autumn/winter 2019, but they may occur at any time of the year depending on environmental need, seasonal conditions and pipeline capacity.

Table 1 Potential environmental watering actions and objectives for the Wimmera–Mallee wetlands

Potential environmental watering

Environmental objectives

North Central wetlands

Davis Dam

  • Maintain black box and cane grass vegetation
  • Provide drought refuge and a watering point for terrestrial animals

Creswick Swamp

  • Maintain the range of aquatic plants and re-establish marbled marshwort
  • Provide refuge, feeding and breeding opportunities for frog and turtles

Chirrup Dam

  • Provide drought refuge and a watering point for animals (particularly frogs, birds and turtles)
  • Facilitate the recolonisation of Chirrup Swamp with frogs and turtles, when it is naturally inundated

 

Corack Lake

  • Maintain and improve native aquatic plants
  • Provide refuge and nursery habitat for turtles and frogs
  • Provide a variety of feeding habitats for waterbirds

Falla Dam

  • Maintain as a drought refuge for turtles and frogs and a watering point for terrestrial species
  • Provide feeding and breeding habitat for turtles and frogs

Jeffcott Wildlife Reserve

  • Maintain a range of native aquatic plants
  • Provide drought refuge, feeding and breeding habitats for frogs, waterbugs, turtles and waterbirds

Jesse Swamp

  • Maintain and improve the range of native aquatic plants including reestablish threatened marbled marshwort
  • Provide feeding habitat for frogs and waterbirds, including brolga

Wimmera wetlands

Carapugna

  • Provide feeding and breeding habitat for waterbirds, woodland birds and frogs
  • Maintain and improve the number and health of wetland plants including ridged water milfoil
  • Maintain the health of black box and spiny lignum

Challambra Swamp

Crow Swamp

Fieldings Dam

Krong Swamp

Mutton Swamp

Pinedale

Sawpit Swamp

Schultz/Koschitzke

Tarkedia

Wal Wal Swamp

Harcoans Swamp

Opies Dam

Mallee wetlands

Barbers Swamp

  • Maintain the health of fringing lignum and black box communities
  • Provide suitable feeding and breeding habitat for various waterbird guilds

Bull Swamp

Cokum Bushland Reserve

Morton Plains Reserve

Tchum Lakes Lake Reserve (North Lake - Wetland)

Tchum Lakes Swimming Pool (North Lake – Dam)

Broom Tank

  • Maintain the health of lignum and black box communities
  • Provide drought refuge and a watering point for animals including woodland birds, wallabies and reptiles

Poyner

Clinton Shire Dam

Pam Juergens Dam

Greens Wetland

Roselyn Wetland

Considines

Goulds Reserve

  • Maintain the health of lignum and black box communities

Part of Gap Reserve

Newer Swamp

Towma (Lake Marlbed)

Coundons Wetland

  • Maintain the health of lignum and black box communities
  • Provide drought refuge and a watering point for animals including woodland birds, wallabies and reptiles
  • Provide foraging, refuge and breeding habitat for turtles and frogs

J Ferrier Wetland

Mahoods Corner

  • Provide feeding and breeding habitat for waterbirds

Shannons Wayside

Chiprick (both)

  • Provide drought refuge and a watering point for animals including woodland birds, wallabies and reptiles

D Smith Wetland

Homelea Wetland

John Ampt

Kath Smith Dam

Paul Barclay

R Ferriers Dam

Rickard Glenys Dam

Cronomby Tanks

  • Maintain the health of wetland plants including lignum and black box
  • Provide refuge, feeding and breeding habitat for turtles and frog

Lake Danaher Bushland Reserve

Risk management

In preparing its seasonal watering proposal, the Wimmera, Mallee and North Central CMAs considered and assessed the risks of environmental watering and identified mitigation strategies. Program partners continually reassess risks and mitigation actions throughout the water year.

Engagement

Table 2 shows the partners, stakeholder organisations and individuals with which the Wimmera, Mallee and North Central CMAs engaged when preparing the WimmeraMallee wetlands seasonal watering proposal.

Seasonal watering proposals are informed by longer-term regional catchment management strategies, regional waterway strategies, environmental water management plans and other studies, which incorporate environmental, cultural, social and economic considerations. For further details, refer to the Wimmera, North Central and Mallee regional catchment strategies and waterway strategies.

Table 2 Partners and stakeholders engaged in developing the Wimmera-Mallee wetlands seasonal watering proposal

Partner and stakeholder engagement

All CMAs

  • Barengi Gadjin Land Council Aboriginal Corporation 
  • GWMWater 
  • Parks Victoria 
  • Victorian Environmental Water Holder

Mallee CMA

  • Buloke Shire Council 
  • Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning
  • Landcare groups
  • Landholders with wetlands on their properties in the Mallee area
  • North Central and Wimmera CMAs 
  • Wimmera Bushwalking Club
  • Yarriambiack Shire Council

North Central CMA 

  • Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning 
  • Dja Dja Wurrung Clans Aboriginal Corporation 
  • Landcare groups
  • Landholders with wetlands on their properties in the North Central CMA area
  • Mallee and Wimmera CMAs
  • Wimmera-Mallee Wetlands Environmental Water Advisory Group comprising community members, interest groups, a North Central CMA Community Consultative Committee representative, a North Central CMA Board member, the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, Parks Victoria and the Victorian Environmental Water Holder

Wimmera CMA 

  • Field and game representatives 
  • Landholders with wetlands on their properties in the Wimmera CMA area 
  • North Central and Mallee CMAs