Long Swamp Restoration Trial Update – May 2016

Long Swamp Restoration Trial Update – May 2016

It has been a while since we last checked in to see how the Long Swamp Restoration Trial in the far south west near Nelson is faring, so let’s have a quick look at the latest…

In response to recent rainfall, levels are now rapidly rising again behind the structure – and are now only about 30 cm below the maximum retention height achieved last year (which proved to be the tipping point for sending flows towards the Glenelg River estuary, as reported in September last year). Given that we are only just entering winter, this is great news.

DSC_0836 - Nobles Structure April 2016 - low res

April 2016 – The appearance of the structure at Nobles Rocks, showing the summer/autumn minimum water level behind the structure.

May 2016 - After good breaking rains in May, levels are rising again.

May 2016 – After good breaking rains in May, levels are rising again.

But this is only part of the story. With the structure in place, a significant portion of Long Swamp behind Nobles Rocks retained knee-deep water right through the summer, despite it being an incredibly dry period, providing additional important refuge habitat for a wide range of aquatic species. Over recent decades, unless there has been heavy summer rains, this portion of Long Swamp had completely dried out each summer as a result of the impact of the artificial outlet. So we know the trial is working!

The following view shows you how this part of the swamp looks compared to last year, and how it fared through the summer and autumn (note how green it stayed throughout).

Long Swamp, inland of Nobles Rocks, showing how it looks compared to this time last year, and how it fared over the summer/autumn.

Long Swamp, inland of Nobles Rocks, showing how it looks compared to this time last year, and how it fared over the summer/autumn.

Mark Bachmann
Mark Bachmann


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