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Published: 21 April 2011   •   Media release

Lake Mulwala will be lowered after Easter so as to allow residents and visitors full use of the lake across the Easter holidays.

The Murray-Darling Basin Authority, in conjunction with Goulburn-Murray Water, is planning a partial drawdown of Lake Mulwala to about halfway (2.5-3m) in late autumn and winter this year to control the invasive aquatic weed Egeria densa.

The first phase of the lowering will commence after Easter, and the water level will be lowered, by about 10 cm/day, to about 123.5 m AHD (compared to Full Supply Level of 124.9 m AHD). At this level, diversions to the major irrigation channels should not be affected.

In the second phase, commencing mid-May, the water level would be dropped by up to 30 cm per day to about 122.2 m AHD. The water level in the lake would be held at about this level until mid-July.

Refilling of the lake is expected to begin in mid-July, ready for the start of the irrigation season.

The expected reduction in Egeria density will provide recreational and tourism benefits in warmer months in years to come. This weed has affected recreational and tourism activities, as well as power station and fishway operation at Yarrawonga Weir.

Egeria densa, commonly known as dense waterweed, is a non-native weed that has formed dense clumps in Lake Mulwala. Since the full drawdown of Lake Mulwala in winter 2009, which was successful in reducing the density of Egeria across the bed of the lake, Egeria has recolonised some of the shallower parts of the lake.

"A partial lowering this year will be beneficial in reducing the density of the weed before it once again impacts on lake usage", said Dr Tony Dugdale, Victorian Department of Primary Industries.

This current plan may be altered in response to weather and river conditions over the coming months. Further updates will be provided in media releases and in the MDBA's Weekly Report prior to, and during, the drawdown.

For more information contact:

MDBA Media office at
Goulburn-Murray water: 03 58335 754
Victorian Department of Primary Industries: 03 5833 5361

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