Water

Directory of Important Wetlands

Directory of Important Wetlands in Australia - Information sheet

To save this report to your computer, use File/Save as, and use a .TXT file extension.
Return to search

Lake Hindmarsh - VIC012

Level of importance: National - Directory
Location: 36 degrees 03' S, 141 degrees 54' E; 11 km north-west of Jeparit.
Biogeographic region: Murray-Darling Depression
Shire: Shire: Hindmarsh.
Area: 15 600 ha.
Elevation: c. 75 m ASL.
Other listed wetlands in same aggregation: VIC011 (Lake Albacutya).
Wetland type: B5
Criteria for inclusion: 1, 2, 3, 6,
Site description:
Lake Hindmarsh is Victoria's largest inland freshwater lake.
Physical features:
Geological setting: Quaternary aeolian and fluvial sediments of the Coonambidgal Formation overlying the aeolian Woorinen Formation. Climate: Mean and median annual rainfall at Lake Hindmarsh south are 344 and 343 mm respectively (BoM 1995a).
Hydrological features:
Inflow occurs from the Wimmera River and outflow is via Outlet Creek to Lake Albacutya. The Wimmera River and its tributaries (Mount William Creek, Fyans Creek and McKenzie Creek) have their sources in the Grampians and Pyrenees. These lakes fill during periods of high river flow and spill further north through a series of smaller lakes within Wyperfeld National Park. An extensive headwork system provides regulation and storage, supplying water to a large area of northern Victoria.
Ecological features:
Lake Hindmarsh is a high value wetland for its flora, fauna and geomorphology.
Significance:
The lake is partly fringed by River Red Gum Eucalyptus camaldulensis and Black Box E. largiflorens woodlands with a shrubby understorey. The sandy dunes on the eastern edge of Lake Hindmarsh are of State geological significance as they represent an impressive relic of the once numerous and extensive water bodies and associated dunes present in the area around 50 000 years ago (King 1990). The cliffs to the west of the lake are of regional geological significance as they are the best example of sandstone cliffs bordered by a lake in the region. There is good exposure of Parilla Sand which is overlain by the Woorinen Formation (King 1990). Lake Hindmarsh is a good example of a large freshwater lake in semi-arid surroundings and is one of very few such lakes with permanent water, so it is important in maintaining ecological diversity and acts as a drought refuge for waterbirds. It is a good example of a complex geomorphological system containing fluvial, lacustrine and aeolian elements including an excellent example of a multiple lunette. Lake Hindmarsh is one of a few large wetlands in a stream course still receiving regular throughflow.
Notable flora:
Threatened species: Lake Hindmarsh supports several threatened plant species (LCC 1986b): Dwarf Flat-sedge Cyperus rigidellus (Se), Jerry-jerry Ammanio multiflora (Sv), Jerry Fire-water Bergia ammanioides (Sv) and Six-point Arrow-grass Triglochin hexagona (Sv) (Gullan et al. 1990). The lake supports a community of Salt Paperbark Melaleuca halmaturorum (Sd and listed under the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act) adjacent to the Wimmera River inlet.
Notable fauna:
Composition: Lake Hindmarsh has supported 50 waterbird species (NRE 1995a). Number: Up to 788 Australian Pelican Pelecanus conspicillatus, 7800 Australian Shelduck Tadorna tadornoides, 1100 Pacific Black Duck Anas superciliosa, 2260 Grey Teal A. gibberifrons, 1020 Eurasian Coots Fulica atra, 320 Masked Lapwings Vanellus miles and 600 Whiskered Terns Chlidonias hybrida have been recorded at the lake (NRE 1995a). Breeding: Australian Pelican Pelecanus conspicillatus (Src), Great Cormorants Phalacrocorax carbo, Pied Cormorant P. varius (Src), Pacific Heron Ardea pacificus, Australian Shelduck, Grey Teal, Purple Swamphen Porphyrio porphyrio, Red-capped Plover Charadrius ruficapillus and Red-necked Avocet Recurvirostra novaehollandiae have been recorded breeding at Lake Hindmarsh when conditions have been suitable (LCC 1986b; NRE 1995a). Threatened species: The Great Egret Egretta alba (listed under the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act), Freckled Duck Stictonetta naevosa (Nr and listed under the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act) and Blue-billed Duck Oxyura australis (Sr and listed under the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act) have also been recorded at Lake Hindmarsh (NRE 1995a).
Other Fauna:
Social and Cultural values:
Recreation: Lake Hindmarsh is a very popular public recreation area for fishing, yabbying, boating, water skiing, camping, picnicking and nature study. Education: A range of active and remnant geological features exist at Lake Hindmarsh including exposed Parilla Sand and complex lunette formations (LCC 1986b; King 1991). The Lake is used by tertiary students for educational purposes. Aboriginal culture: Human burial remains found at Lake Hindmarsh by the Victorian Archaeological Survey indicate past occupation by Aborigines (VAS 1992).
Land tenure:
Lake Reserve. Surrounding area: Lake Reserve, private land, Public Land Water Frontage.
Current land use:
Nature conservation, fishing and yabbying, boating, camping, water skiing, picnicking and nature study. Surrounding area: Grazing, cropping, nature conservation.
Disturbance or threat:
Past/present: Increasing salinity and diminishing flow due to river regulation.

Potential: Not known.
Conservation measures taken:
Grazing of edge vegetation has been discontinued. There has been significant effort to control rabbits and pest plants over the last three years: the program is continuing. A revegetation program targeting Buloke-native pine woodlands on the south-west to west lake frontage commenced in 1995. There has been rationalisation of recreational use along the northern frontage to protect dunes and significant vegetation. Seven species listed by JAMBA and CAMBA (Great Egret, Black-tailed Godwit Limosa limosa, Greenshank Tringa nebularia, Marsh Sandpiper T. stagnatilis, Curlew Sandpiper Calidris ferruginea, Red-necked Stint C. ruficollis, Sharp-tailed Sandpiper C. acuminata) and two species listed only by CAMBA (Glossy Ibis Plegadis falcinellus and Caspian Tern Hydroprogne caspia) have been recorded at Lake Hindmarsh (CNR 1995).
Management authority and jurisdiction:
Parks Victoria.
References:
See Victoria Reference List
Compiler & date:
Parks, Flora and Fauna Division, Department of Natural Resources and Environment, September 1995.
Drainage:  
AWRC Division: Murray-Darling
AWRC Region: WIMMERA-MALLEE
AWRC Basin: WIMMERA-AVON RIVERS
Catchment:
Sub-catchment: