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Anabranch lake gets first fresh in years

Friday, 4th March, 2011

Nearie Lake on the Darling Anabranch is getting its first inflow of water in more than a decade.

The National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) Lower Darling Area Manger, Jo Gorman, said the first big inflow since 1998 into Nearie Lake Nature Reserve, about 80km north of Wentworth, would help vegetation and wildlife.

"These high flows are enabling many of the wetlands and lakes along the Anabranch, such as Nearie Lake, to be filled with water for the first time in more than a decade, providing vital support for wildlife habitat struggling after years of drought," she said.

Nearie Lake Nature Reserve covers 4,347 hectares and is situated on the Great Anabranch of the Darling River. The lake itself makes up almost half of the reserve, covering 2,140 hectares.

The Anabranch and its lakes are a significant ephemeral wetland system and are listed in the Directory of Important Wetlands in Australia.

It provides an important refuge for waterbirds and is the only protected area along the Anabranch being listed on the Register of National Estate.

"We have been undertaking regular monitoring in the reserve since 2006 so it'll be interesting to see the changes and how the environment responds to the water. The results from monitoring will be used to inform future environmental water flows," Ms Gorman said.

After consultation between the Department of Environment, the Office of Water, Anabranch Water and the Anabranch Water Trust water was released from the Anabranch into Nearie Lake in mid February.

Anabranch Water board member and local landholder, Angus Whyte, said it was great to see water in the lake again and all the wonderful wildlife that it was attracting.

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