Significant Submerged Aquatic Planting Mandatory For Lake Recovery

At the recent community info session, Alluvium consultants highlighted the importance of submerged aquatic vegetation not only in removing nutrients from the water but a necessity in overall lake health. This vegetation typically grows below the 2ft water depth.

In 2013 substantial loss of vegetation occurred as a result of a significant rise in lake salt levels and has struggled to return with the trend in salt increasing. Council have indicated that existing salt tolerant plants will eventually make up for the loss. 8 years on, there is very little evidence of this along the shoreline.

The recent improvement in water clarity has confirmed that since 2013, very little vegetation has returned to the key transition zone between the shallow and deep water.

As this area receives the most light, vegetation has the best chance of survival during algal blooms and reductions in water visibility during rain events. In relation to the west side of the lake, where the majority of the lake is too deep to support vegetation,  ONLY the shallow areas are suitable for growth. With the west side having high nutrient load and practically zero vegetation, planting is a necessity.

The option to replant areas of the lake with species effective in nutrient removal rated highly in the options report.

In formulating the LHM Management Plan, Council need to include widespread planting of salt tolerant plants to assist the current limited vegetation along with salt water management to ensure substantial plant losses do not occur in the future.