Aquatic and Plant Boom in Coorong & Lower Lakes

May 2, 2023 6:40 am in by

 coorong aerial view

There are now more fish, underwater plants and macroinvertebrates in the Coorong and Lower Lakes than there has been since the Millennium Drought, new research shows.

Scientists say significant reductions in both salinity and nutrient levels following the floods have triggered a boom in aquatic, plant and other life.

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According to the latest research and monitoring, there has been a substantial increase in fish including congolli, black bream, greenback flounder and yelloweye mullet. This is benefitting birds and larger fish that feed off the smaller fish species.

The Coorong’s underwater plants, many of which were almost lost from the system during the Millennium Drought, are recovering and provide an important habitat for fish and are a vital food source for birds.

Importantly, the South Lagoon, which was severely impacted by the drought, appears to also be bouncing back with reduced salinity and increased animal life including macroinvertebrates that are extending further south into the lagoons.

The scientists have been engaged through the Healthy Coorong, Healthy Basin program to analyse water quality and nutrients in the Coorong and Lower Lakes.

They form part of a scientific advisory group that provides advice on water delivery and water for the environment by collecting and analysing fish, vegetation, invertebrate and water quality data.

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Their research is on show at the Healthy Coorong, Healthy Basin Science Forum in Goolwa on Tuesday 16 May.

Attendees can participate and provide feedback during a Coorong Restoration Roadmap workshop on the day. While it is a free event, registration is essential via

Photo Credit: SA Government Department of Environment and Water


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