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Ramco lagoon supporting new life

News article |

As part of its Wetland Management Plan, Ramco Lagoon will begin a partially dry phase, with water drawing-down from mid-December 2020 and continuing over the summer months.

Posted 30 November 2020.

Murraylands and Riverland Landscape Board Wetlands Officer Stephanie Robinson said the decision to draw-down water levels at Ramco Lagoon was informed by the hydrological regime, which is part of the Wetland Management Plan for the lagoon.

“Allowing the water to partially draw-down over summer supports vegetation growth on the newly exposed mud flats making them very attractive to aquatic animals like fish and frogs once the lagoon is refilled,” she said.

“Creating water variability through the summer months produces benefits for many different bird species, particularly wading species.

“Migratory bird species such as the curlew sandpiper rely on exposed mudflats as a feeding ground.

“This little bird travels from Siberia to Australian wetlands like Ramco Lagoon to feed in the summer months, finally returning to Siberia with a full belly.

“Allowing the lagoon bed to dry out over summer helps the soil to consolidate, then when the water refills, there is less sediment and much clearer water.

Many European carp have been removed from Ramco Lagoon helping to keep the water clearer and allowing more aquatic vegetation to grow.

“Ramco Lagoon does have an acid sulphate soil risk.

“This means when some sections of the wetland bed dry out completely and are exposed to air, sulfuric acid can be produced and may make the lagoon acidic for a period as its refilled,“ Ms Robinson said.

“The acid sulphate soil issue means that it’s better not to dry the lagoon out completely and is why we monitor and plan only partial drying events for Ramco Lagoon,” she said.

“Because of this type of soil, the draw-down process may create some smelly odour during the summer months.

“If the odour becomes too strong during the draw-down we are asking our community contacts to let us know so we can begin refilling the lagoon once a partial dry has been achieved.

Please contact the Murraylands and Riverland Landscape Board office, Berri on phone: 08 8580 1800 to speak with a member of the Wetlands Team for further information or concerns with the water draw-down at Ramco Lagoon.

This project is supported by the Murraylands and Riverland Landscape Board through funding from the Landscape levies.

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