Lake ‘reverting to a seasonal wetland’

Water levels have dropped at Loch McNess. Picture: Lucy Jarvis
Water levels have dropped at Loch McNess. Picture: Lucy Jarvis

Visitors to the picturesque park last week noted a depleted lake where the popular rowboats have not operated since 2008.

Park manager Julia Coggins said the lake was reverting to a seasonal wetland, as it had over the last two or three years.

However, there were still wetland birds and associated wildlife in the area.

‘Many of the wetland birds are seasonal visitors and we are still seeing these species,’ she said.

‘We know through monitoring that water-dependent species such as turtles and water rats are persisting as there is evidence of breeding and young.

‘Loch McNess is connected to a large body of groundwater, the Gnangara Mound, which has seen more than a decade of reduced levels with a major decline from October 2006 to March 2007.’

Ms Coggins said park volunteers monitored the lake weekly and, at this stage, had not seen any significant changes in water quality.

‘The Department of Water has reduced water allocation across the mound and has been pro-active in promoting water conservation,’ she said.

‘At a park level, we are not on scheme water and use bores for all water requirements.’