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Summary 2018–19

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water for the environment delivered

clipart representing water use


Water for the environment delivered.
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Climate conditions

Dry - above average temperatures with river flows half the long term average. tooltip
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A new automatic barrage gate was installed at Goolwa Barrage enabling more efficient releases to maximise fish movement between the Lower Lakes and Coorong. (Photo: Adrienne Rumbelow).


Members of the Aboriginal Learning on Country Program from the Ngopamuldi Aboriginal Corporation worked with University of Adelaide fish ecologists to collect data on threatened fish in the Lower Lakes. (Photo: Scotte Wedderburn)


An autumn drawdown of water levels in the Lower Lakes resulted in increased germination of water plants including sedges and rushes. (Photo: Jason Nicol)


The Lower Lakes and Coorong was the largest recorded waterbird breeding site in the Murray-Darling Basin during 2018-19. On North Pelican Island in the Coorong, around 2,800 adult pelicans formed a large breeding colony with 470 chicks recorded. Straw-necked ibis and pied cormorants were also observed breeding on islands in Lake Alexandrina. (Photo: Jarrod Hodgson)


Black bream that bred in the Coorong in summer 2017-18 (left) supported by water for the environment, were found again this year (right). These young fish are expected to survive to adulthood. (Photo: SARDI Aquatic Sciences)

Past reports for Lower Lakes, Coorong and Murray Mouth

  Overall   Vegetation Waterbirds Fish Other
flood icon2018-19 C   C D C B
flood icon2017-18 C   C D C B
flood icon2016-17 B   B D B B
flood icon2015-16 C   C D C A
flood icon2014-15 B   B A C B
flood icon2013-14 B   B A C A
flood icon2012-13 B   B A B A
flood icon2011-12 B   B A B A
flood icon2010-11 D   C D D B
flood icon2009-10 D   C D C D
flood icon2008-09 D   B D D D
flood icon2007-08 D   B D D D
flood icon2006-07 C   - D B C
dry icon Dry flood icon Very Wet
wet icon Wet moderate icon Moderate

Each year, water is released into the environment depending on the climatic conditions. See the outcomes of water over time for a long-term view of how natural and released water affects the health of rivers.


Stories from the River Murray – Lower Lakes, Coorong and Murray Mouth
Pouched lamprey
Australian white ibis chicks, near Tolderol wetland, Lake Alexandrina
SARDI Aquatic sciences and SA DEW staff conducting Lower Lakes aquatic vegetation monitoring
Threatened fish survey team: Ngopamuldi Aboriginal Corporation and University of Adelaide staff.
A map of the Murray-Darling Basin see-our-progress MURRAY RIVER ADELAIDE Koondrook-Perricoota Forest Deniliquin Goolwa SOUTHAUSTRALIA VICTORIA NEW SOUTH WALES Barmah-Millewa Forest Hattah Lakes Lower Lakes, Coorong &Murray Mouth GunbowerForest Lindsay, Mulcra & Wallpolla Islands Blanchetown Mildura Swan Hill Albury-Wodonga Echuca ChowillaFloodplain