Introduction. Third Reedy Lake is a freshwater wetland in the Kerang region in north central Victoria. It is part of the Kerang Wetlands Ramsar Site, which means that it is recognised as being of international significance for wetland conservation as it supports threatened plant and animal species and ecological communities and rookeries of colonial nesting wetland birds.
Prior to European occupation this wetland, along with Middle Lake and Reedy Lake, would have been inundated only when floodwaters came down the Loddon River and caused the intermittent Wandella and Sheep Wash Creeks to flow. At that time the wetland experienced a natural wetting and drying cycle, filling up from floodwaters and drying out completely between floods, which occurred on average once every 3 to 4 years.
In the 1920s, however, this natural wetting and drying cycle was discontinued. Third Reedy Lake became part of the Torrumbarry Irrigation Scheme. Water was diverted out of the Murray River at Torrumbarry Weir and made to flow through a series of natural wetlands including Kow Swamp, the Reedy Lakes, Little Lake Charm and Kangaroo Lake to deliver water to irrigate farms. The lakes and swamps became permanently inundated. While this meant farmers had a reliable supply of water it also profoundly altered the ecology of the wetlands.
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