The Weekly Advertiser

Call to see lake’s value

STRUGGLING: Toolondo Reservoir, already suffering with low water levels, has been hit by blue-green algae. Pictured is an on-looker inspecting the dire state of the lake, situated south-west of Horsham. Lake Toolondo residents and anglers from across Australia have joined together to campaign Water Minister Peter Walsh to allocate more water to the lake.
Picture: CONTRIBUTED

By DEAN LAWSON

Life-long Wimmera angler and angling commentator Chris Spence of Lower Norton has called on authorities to place a greater socio-economic and environmental value on Toolondo Reservoir.

He has made a particular appeal for Victorian Water Minister Peter Walsh to ‘do whatever is necessary’ to ensure the south Wimmera lake maintains longevity as a regional asset.

Mr Spence, who has heavily promoted the lake across Australia and beyond in his role as a regional angling correspondent, made his call as part of a community push to keep water in the lake.

He said he was moved to help lead the charge on the issue after experiencing and photographing deteriorating conditions at Toolondo.

“It’s an absolute mess at the moment, it is screaming out for help. The Toolondo we have come to recognise for its crystal-clear water and superb fishing and wildlife, has become the subject of a severe blue-green algal bloom. It smells and has also become turbid as it continues to shrink and deteriorate at an alarming rate,” he said.

The Weekly Advertiser reported last week that lobbyists trying to convince authorities for a need for water for Toolondo were likely to have to wait until at least June for an answer.

That is when Mr Walsh is due to announce details of a review into regional bulk entitlements, based on a statutory water-sharing agreement.

Mr Spence said the days of considering Toolondo as a simple reservoir or that its levels be based on nothing more than rain in the catchment were inappropriate considering its broad value and potential.

“Many years ago Toolondo, when at its height as Australia’s premier brown trout fishery, was the subject of an economic impact statement that showed the reservoir was worth tens of millions of dollars to the regional and state economy,” he said.

“When the lake received water in 2011 and started to re-establish its reputation as a trout fishery, it made headlines in a major fly-fishing magazine in New Zealand. That’s the sort of name the lake has.”

Toolondo is considered a ‘dead’ storage because of difficulty in extracting water for supply. Under bulk-entitlement guidelines it only receives water when the water level at Rocklands Reservoir, where the bulk of Toolondo’s water comes from, reaches and can maintain a trigger level of 116,000 megalitres.

 

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Short URL: http://www.theweeklyadvertiser.com.au/?p=18921

Posted on Feb 26 2014

Posted by on Feb 26 2014. Filed under Environment, FEATURED, News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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