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  • Water salinity changes in the Lower Murray River - Lakes Need Water
    the order of 1500 EC units In the last 2 years water conductivities in Lake Alexandrina have risen to 5000 6000 and water levels have declined to 1m below sea level as a result of low river flows and evaporation The flow below lock 1 at Blanchtown has been maintained at a minimum level of 1GL day partly to prevent this saline Lake Water from moving upstream This has been

    Original URL path: http://www.lakesneedwater.org/water-quality-journal/water-salinity-changes (2016-02-09)
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  • Goolwa Pond Water - Lakes Need Water
    News Letters and Submissions More Reading Maps About Us Links Act Now Water Quality Journal Goolwa Pond Water Photos of the fresh water being pumped from Lake Alexandrina over the Clayton Regulator and into the newly formed Goolwa Pool These

    Original URL path: http://www.lakesneedwater.org/water-quality-journal/goolwa-pond-water (2016-02-09)
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  • Issues Paper, 9 February 2009 - Lakes Need Water
    their scientists and expert advisors governments have set arbitrary trigger points as indicators of minimum lead times to enable timely action temporary weirs cannot be built overnight While the current government focus is on avoiding irreversible acidification salinity and dessication drying out are also serious environmental issues Salinity levels are increasing with the whole Goolwa Finniss channel now one third the salinity of seawater and more than half near Goolwa It is no longer a freshwater environment and the water has been unsuitable for human use for a long time SA Government advice is that under worst case evaporation conditions this summer acidification triggers wont be reached until early 2010 and may be delayed further or even indefinitely with strong winter inflows to the catchment They have initiated the approval process for seawater to be used to keep levels above critical acidification levels provoking loud protests from the freshwater only activists who have interpreted Federal Environment Minister Garrett s requirement for an Environmental Impact investigation as some sort of success But have the scientific advisors fully anticipated the problems posed already by dessication Corrosive Dust storms are being kicked up from the exposed flats by anything more than a light breeze and these are very windy places And as the levels continue to fall this will get much much worse It is possible that hundreds of thousands of tonnes of dry sand moving across the Lake beds to build up along shore lines and the very fact of wetlands drying up are of themselves environmental disasters at least as problematic as the feared acidification The intrusion of fine corrosive windblown sand into human habitation along the shores of the lake will cause untold damage and it is happening now One thing we can be sure about is that water levels this low are totally unprecedented over the thousands of years of natural conditions prior to settlement If severe droughts ever reduced flows to current levels and in all likelihood they did seawater would have moved in to maintain the lakes at sea level it is only the man made intervention of the barrages that is preventing this from happening now Those who are advocating the totally impracticable chemical treatment and or bio remediation planting of reeds etc of the tens of thousands of hectares of lake bed which will be exposed by next summer are not facing reality the Lakes need water now The freshwater of an ideal world is not available which leaves seawater Seawater One high profile antigovernment activist has been quoted as saying that letting seawater into the Lower Lakes would be like an atomic bomb and would kill everything He says the lakes have always been fresh and we can prove it And people are concerned that once salt water comes in it will be there forever But how valid are these statements and concerns Certainly an estuarine mix or a full seawater marine wetland environment would mean major changes to the ecosystems that were there before the drought but salinity is changing that now where there is water And where there is no longer water the aquatic ecosystem is already dead A living marine ecosystem on the other hand would have value in its own right it would be different but not dead Logic suggests that if strong freshwater flows return to the system after the drought they will inevitably replace salt water with fresh no problem and if strong flows don t return then a marine system is inevitable anyway and might as well be established sooner rather than later with the added benefits of preventing acidification and stabilising the windblown sand But if the Lower Lakes were never salt water over the thousands of years before European settlement that in itself would be a good reason not to let it happen now Of course neither did they ever dry up during those thousands of years and that is a very good reason not to let that happen now There are choices to be made and value judgements But while we can be sure that the lakes didn t dry up over recent geological time gravity and sea levels ensured that couldn t happen how sure can we be of the claims that the Lakes have always been fresh and never salt The research most often referred to by members of the River Lakes and Coorong Action Group in support of this claim is the document A Fresh History of the Lakes Wellington to the Murray Mouth 1800s to 1935 by Terry Sim and Kerri Muller and published by the River Murray Catchment Water Management Board in conjunction with the Goolwa to Wellington Local Action Planning Board Inc This historical research is a collection of excerpts from newspapers Parliamentary debates diaries journals reports letters and family and local histories and surveyor s notes which shows very clearly that the upstream extraction of water for irrigation purposes has been a source of great contention since the 1880 s with low flows at the mouth in times of drought attributed to these diversions The document also indicates that the lakes were likely to have predominately fresh for extended periods over pre European times which is not in contention What it does not prove however is that the Lakes were always fresh even in times of severe drought The credibility of this research is significantly reduced by clear evidence of bias in the selection of data for inclusion At least some data used to make a case for the Lakes having been exclusively fresh would have suggested the opposite conclusion if the full story was considered You don t prove anything by searching for examples to support a preconceived conclusion and rejecting data that doesn t fit On the other hand scientific research into core samples of the sediment laid down in the bed of the Lakes over thousands of years Professor Peter Gell include referenceXXX show conclusively that the Lakes as might be expected have been

    Original URL path: http://www.lakesneedwater.org/feature/issues-paper-9-feb-2009 (2016-02-09)
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  • An Estuary Ruined - Lakes Need Water
    and about four at Narrung If the barrage were built it would practically wipe out the butterfish and men would be thrown out of employment at Milang Mulgundawa and Narrung and twelve to fourteen men would be affected at Goolwa 8 1933 Opening of the gates in the barrages in winter would not help because it was only between December and March that butterfish from the sea entered the lake 9 1946 It is only within the last four years that fish have become scarcer than usual mainly because two of the most important fish have dropped back 80 per cent mullet and butterfish The Coorong is the only place for these fish to enter now but owing to Government interference with the water and lack of consideration for the fishing industry they have become scarce and are likely to remain so Fishermen have been robbed of their living to help the landowner who so far has done nothing with the fresh water locked by the barrages 10 A flourishing mulloway fishery in the Lower Lakes is documented in the late Director of Fisheries A M Olsen 1991 report that while other fisheries may have been affected and survived the mulloway fishery was decimated by the barrages 11 Currently it is a sad testimony to our stewardship of the Lower Lakes that the Lower Lake Coorong fishery catches more carp now than it used to catch mulloway According to a recently published report in 2011 on mulloway by G J Ferguson and T M Ward The population of mulloway in south eastern South Australia has been depleted by reduced degraded estuarine habitat resulting from flow regulation in the Murray River system Construction of barrages reduced estuarine habitat by 89 and annual catches by 83 in the early 1940s and subsequent abstraction of water for irrigation has reduced the frequency and severity of flood events with complete closure of the Murray River mouth in several years 12 To deny the Lower Lakes were estuaries and pretend the Lakes used to always be full of exclusively freshwater as the popular history tells us is to deny the evidence that mulloway butterfish routinely entered the lakes as part of their life cycle It also labels fishermen with decades of experience as opportunists To say the Lakes have always been fresh also shows a lack of respect to the Ngarrindgjeri who clearly know this was not the case The history that should be acknowledged is that settlers and squatters found the natural rythym of the fresh and salt water cycles of the Lakes to be incompatible with intensive agriculture and irrigation schemes and so they changed it AMERICANS DIKED AND CHANGED THEIR ESTUARIES TOO Estuarine degradation from agrarian pursuits from the late 1800 s is not unique to Australia Along the West Coast of the United States there are over 50 estuarine sites that were previously diked in the late 1800 s that are now in the process of being restored Americans use the term dike for barrage Scientists in Oregon and Washington are finding ways to restore estuaries From the University of Washington School of Fisheries Restoration Potential of Diked Estuarine Wetlands Restoring tidal circulation to historically diked estuarine wetlands represents one of the most available and effective means of rehabilitating large areas of degraded coastal wetlands Frenkel and Morlan 1990 Kusler and Kentula 1990 NRC 1992 Habitat restoration primarily to protect the salmon means upgrading old dams with fish ladders or taking the dams out The federal Endangered Species Act requires that National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries develop recovery plans for conservation and survival of listed species Projects have included removal of sea dikes and dams that impede the movement of fish between marine and freshwater habitats The National Estuarine Research Reserve coordinates a network of project in over 28 regions around the United States 13 A few of these projects are listed below Brown Farm Dike in Washington State was removed after a century of blocking tidal flow This allowed the tides to return to over 760 acres of the Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge Together with 190 acres of wetlands restored by the Nisqually Indian Tribe the Nisqually Delta represents the largest estuary restoration project in the Pacific Northwest to assist in recovery of Puget Sound salmon and wildlife populations The restoration team won a national in 2011 14 At Port Susan Bay Preserve in the Stillaguamish River estuary south of Stanwood the Nature Conservancy will remove nearly 1 4 miles of existing sea dike and build nearly 1 mile of new setback dike to protect neighboring farmlands 15 At Little Quilcene Estuary which is 12 2 miles in length the project aims to restore more natural estuarine function removing approximately 700 feet of sea dike from the eastern portion of the estuary and 1 500 feet of dike on the north side of the river The tidal and wave action after the restoration was allowed fuller access to the entire northern portion of the larger Quilcene estuary 16 Padilla Bay north of Seattle is also being restored 17 Since the arrival of settlers in the late 1800s and the initiation of logging diking and agriculture significant changes to the margins of the bay and the surrounding lands have occurred Other diking proposals were considered such as the one to dike the entire bay this was actually started in the early 1920s but were abandoned due to financial or physical problems 18 Farmer settlers at the end of the 19 th century used dikes to secure freshwater sources and reclaim 900 acres of land for agriculture This land was protected behind dikes that were created to keep saltwater from intruding onto the farmland The projects goal is to gain conservation easements or other controls on these lands to allow farming to continue while not allowing more intensive uses of the land ESTUARINE SCIENCE STILL DEVELOPING According to Paul Hooybar of Oregon State University estuarine science is still developing In his

    Original URL path: http://www.lakesneedwater.org/feature/an-estuary-ruined (2016-02-09)
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  • Dolphin at Tailem Bend - Lakes Need Water
    that a shark had been seen in Lake Albert A number of townspeople turned out with guns and rifles to dispatch the intruder After a little chase two large creatures were captured and proved to be dolphins the largest being 10 ft long And another report in 1914 PORPOISE IN LAKE ALEXANDRINA Saturday May 2 1914 The Advertiser A correspondent writes Woolfitt Bros of Milang caught a large porpoise in the lake on Friday It was 7 ft long and weighed 170 lb It is the first porpoise caught in Lake Alexandrina Below is a historical photo of a porpoise at Tailem Bend in 1927 Could this be where the dolphin at Murray Bridge legend comes from Schoolboys standing around a large dead porpoise caught at Tailem Bend 27th August 1927 The caption for the photo from the State Library of South Australia In his reminiscences of growing up and working as a fisherman on the River Murray Doug Hattam recalled how during a period of drought in 1926 the waters of the Murray became saline as far upstream as Murray Bridge Before the barrages were built between 1935 and 1940 saltwater could reach as far upstream as 250 kilometres from the Murray Mouth and river levels could fluctuate considerably In 1926 two porpoises were found to be living in the salty water around the Tailem Bend area The porpoises lived there for several months until the freshwater returned One of them died at Tailem Bend before it was able to return to the sea It was common to refer to the creatures as porpoises but it is now thought that they could have been a variety of pygmy whale Let s hope the other porpoise got away Unfortunately we know that the one in the photo did not make

    Original URL path: http://www.lakesneedwater.org/feature/dolphin-at-tailem-bend (2016-02-09)
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  • History of the Lower Lakes and Coorong with timeline - Lakes Need Water
    The top band from the SA State Library website with click through links to their pages The middle band is a collection of historical references from people associated with the fishing industry in South Australia There are excerpts from Evelyn Wallace Carter s book For They Were Fishers regarding the fishing industry around the Lower Lakes and Coorong Events from t he report The Coorong A multi species fishery Part 1 History and Development by A M Olsen have been included There are also oral interviews recorded by the Alexandrina Library Local History project of individuals who lived in the area pre barrage time The bottom band are the dates from the pamphlet A Fresh History of the Lakes Wellington to Murray Mouth 1800 s to 1935 by Sim and Muller Scroll along the timeline with your mouse or left right arrow keys Click here for a map of the region with markers from the effects of the drought and the barrages holding back seawater Zooming into the map brings up satellite images from 2009 Read oral history interviews of what life was like before the barrages Sources A Timeline of River Murray history from 1802 2004 is available at the State Library of South Australia The report The Coorong A multi species fishery Part 1 History and Development Author A M Olsen From the book For They Were Fishers a history of the South Australian Fishing Industry by Evelyn Wallace Carter With excerpts from her book about the Lakes and the Coorong Alexandrina Library Oral History transcripts Interview with Jim Marsh Goolwa Barrage superintendent Interview with Bert Lundstrom Interview with Syd Smith Interview with W A Pretty Interview with Richard Spencer Interview with Harold Bedford Excerpts from the above interviews here A Fresh History of the Lakes from Wellington

    Original URL path: http://www.lakesneedwater.org/feature/history-of-the-lower-lakes-and-coorong-with-timeline (2016-02-09)
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  • Beacons - Lakes Need Water
    to provide additional monitoring services were A4261123 D S Hindmarsh Island Bridge now remaining due to funding being secured A4261124 West Clayton Beacon 65 A4261155 Warringee Pt Lake Albert A4261202 Lower Finniss A4261203 Currency Creek A4261158 4km West Pomanda Point A4261157 SE Milang A4261156 W Pt McLeay A4261200 D S Wellington A4261201 Tailem Bend A4261127 Pompoota A4261129 Beacon 75 Currently seeking funding for another 5 sites in addition to A4261123

    Original URL path: http://www.lakesneedwater.org/newsletters/newsletter-september-2011/beacons (2016-02-09)
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  • Invitation to Comment - Lakes Need Water
    to D E H You are also welcome to forward you re own private comments to the D E H Here is the introductory letter explaining what this is a part of This is the D E H Management Action Table to comment on Here is the interactive form that D E H has provided It is a Word document Or you can refer to this pdf version of the

    Original URL path: http://www.lakesneedwater.org/home/invitation-to-comment (2016-02-09)
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