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New structures for Ducksfoot Lagoon

Two new structures have been built to help improve the health of a popular local wetland.

New structures for Ducksfoot Lagoon

The recently completed environmental regulator at Jennings Bridge, Kings Billabong Park.

Ducksfoot Lagoon is part of Kings Billabong Park and, until recently, this wetland was permanently inundated by the Lock 11 weir pool level.

Two environmental regulators have been installed over the past two months to make it possible to manage the water flowing into the lagoon, which will return natural water variations to Ducksfoot Lagoon, along with improvements to water quality, native fish habitat and a reduction in carp numbers.

The structures have been built adjacent to the existing bridges at Baggs Bridge and Jennings Bridge and will work by regulating the water flowing into Butlers Creek, which connects Ducksfoot Lagoon to the Murray River.

The construction project has been managed by the Mallee Catchment Management Authority (CMA), in partnership with Parks Victoria.

“Installing these new regulators is a great step forward in terms of protecting this beautiful area,” Mallee CMA chief executive officer Jenny Collins said.

“We’ve worked with Indigenous stakeholders, Friends of Kings Billabong, Sunraysia Bird Observers, Sunraysia Field Naturalists and local residents to make this project possible and we expect the wetland will start to show improvements in its health within months.”

The regulators will be operated to contain water within Ducksfoot Lagoon and the Butlers Creek system, allowing the wetland and creek to have increased water levels, to mimic a small flood. Any additional water required to increase the water level will be accessed through environmental water allocations. The regulators will also be used to exclude water and allow the creek and wetland to have a drying phase.

The regulators are made from interlocking Plastipile material, a patented recycled plastic product.  The structures also have a regulator gate and carp screen.

“Reintroducing variations in the water levels at Ducksfoot Lagoon and Butlers Creek will deliver an overall improvement to the health of the wetlands, which will be seen through increases in the numbers of native fish, waterbirds, and frogs,” Ms Collins said.

Monitoring to assess the current health of the ecosystems of the area is already underway with the help of important community groups such as the Friends of Kings Billabong, Mallee Waterwatch volunteers and Sunraysia Field Naturalists.  Monitoring will continue to allow for analysis of the impact of the return to a more natural wetland cycle.

Funding for this project was provided by the Victorian Government’s Victorian Water Trust Rivers of High Environmental Return Opportunity program.

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