Update on southern Grampians restored wetlands – the flows have arrived!

Last week I took the opportunity to check back in on some of the restoration sites we have been working on around the southern Grampians, and I have some good news!

Let’s start the journey a bit further east, and up the Bunnugal drain, to one of the first sites we worked on under the Wetland Restoration on Private Land project.  After almost two years of no runoff, the Green Swamp has been anything but green.  Things started moving about a month ago and now the water is running in fast.  The swamp is filling and over the next week we should see it spill at its restored level.  Stay tuned to see the emerging water ribbons restore the Green Swamp to its former beauty.

The Green Swamp starting to fill.

Heading back towards the Grampians, and to a site where we constructed a sandbag weir back in 2014, is Walker Swamp.  Our initial trial managed to hold water back at a much improved level but after demonstrating the low-risk strategy of sand-bag weirs, we were able to raise the level a little more.  I must say the adrenalin kicked in a little when I first sighted the swamp from the public road – given the magnitude of inflows –  but after checking the boundary, I was comfortable with where the water level was sitting under flowing conditions, and (perhaps more importantly) where it was likely to hold based on current flow dynamics (i.e. how much water was coming in and how much was going out).  Check out this video for a visual comparison of inflow and outflows.

Walkers Swamp overflow
Walkers Swamp overflow

And so to our beloved Gooseneck and Brady swamps.  Finally, after a delayed start to flows down the Wannon River, the inflows have now laid a sheet of water across both.  They still have a fair way to go before we reach levels seen in 2013 or 2014 but with some ongoing rain through spring, we should see some significant wetland habitat through these parts well into summer.  And won’t the local wetland wildlife love that!

Gooseneck Swamp - August 2016
Gooseneck Swamp – August 2016
Washing away the dust - Brady Swamp August 2016
Washing away the dust – Brady Swamp August 2016
Lachlan Farrington