I guess it was always going to happen eventually, given the hot summer weather (driving evaporation), lack of rainfall and a reduction of inflows from the Wannon River, but levels in Gooseneck Swamp have finally started to drop after holding relatively steady between September and December 2013.
Since the last update in mid-December, levels have now fallen about 20 cm (from 72 cm on the 14th December to just over 50 cm a month later) at the gaugeboard upstream of the weir – see the images below (courtesy of Rod Bird). This is back around the same level that the swamp was sitting at prior to the restoration trial getting under way, and with the sandbag weir structure continuing prevent the swamp from freely draining, we hope that the swamp will continue to hold water for a little longer into the summer. This is the critical time when the swamp was previously drying down rapidly as a result of the artificial cutting, but we are now seeing an extension to the duration of inundation as a result of the trial structure. Even though levels are falling, the trend is not as rapid as it would be if the drain was freely flowing – so this is still good news!
A further update to come later in the summer….
Finally, in other Gooseneck Swamp News, the project was fortunate to get some exposure in the Victorian Wetlands Working Group email publication (The Egret) as a result of a submission by Adam Bester of the Glenelg Hopkins CMA – thanks Adam!
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