Rescuing Markey’s Lagoon

Markey's Lagoon, a small wetland located between Narrandera and Yanco, is getting a new lease of life.

The wetland will receive approximately 180 mega litres of water pumped from the Murrumbidgee River through an environmental water allocation, specified in the Murrumbidgee Water Sharing Plan.

The project is being run by Forestry Corporation with assistance from the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the Murrumbidgee Wetlands Working Group.

Forestry Corporation operations/sales officer Gary Miller said the lagoon had been dry for the past five years.

'In 2000, it received an environmental flow but it has been dry ever since,' he said.

'We are helping bring it back to life by pumping water out of the Murrumbidgee River using a Forestry Corporation pump usually located at Mathoura.

'The pumping has taken a couple of weeks and by the end of this week it should be completed with the lagoon filled to a depth of about three metres.'

Markey's Lagoon is one of a group of wetlands that have been identified and approved by DNR to receive environmental water allocations this year.

The other wetlands have been filled by diverting water from the Murrumbidgee rather than by pumping as is the case for Markey's Lagoon.

DNR wetlands officer James Maguire based at Leeton said the birds and other aquatic life were slowly returning to Markey's Lagoon.

'Already a small number of ducks, grebes, herons and egrets have returned to the lagoon.

'It will also be stocked with a variety of native wetland fish provided by NSW Department of Primary Industries Fisheries Centre at Narrandera,' he said.

The Wetlands Working Group has established native trees around the lagoon and there has been significant regeneration of native plants.

Mr Maguire said water should remain in the lagoon for up to 18 months.

'It is expected that this successful use of environmental water will be repeated as a priority,' he said.

Media Contact: Sarah Chester on (02) 6036 2110 or 0417 207 669.
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