SNOWY RIVER REVIVAL
AFTER being dammed at Jindabyne in the late 1960s, the Snowy River choked. This once mighty river that carried much of the NSW snowfields’ spring-time melt to the ocean was reduced to just one per cent of its pre-dammed water flow. This water flowed from a drainpipe at Jindabyne Dam.
That, and the regretful use of non-indigenous willows to stabilise creek banks within its catchment, meant the Snowy was sometimes nothing more than a string of stagnant pools.
It’s incredible to think the Mckillops Bridge was raised to reduce the chance of it being swept away again by another Snowy spring-thaw flood; a fate it suffered just weeks after it was built in the 1930s.
Thankfully, decisions have been made to eradicate the willows and increase the Snowy’s flow to around 25 per cent of its original flow. It will never be as healthy as it was in its natural, mighty prescheme days, but it’s healthier now than it has been for four decades. There are now far less of the weeds, alluvial sand and slimy ponds that many of us recall on our first acquaintance.