• Water flows to Toolondo
The spring and summer recreational prospects of Toolondo Reservoir south of Horsham are primed for a major boost with extra water to flow into the lake from today.
Gwmwater will start transferring 5000 megalitres from Rocklands Reservoir to Toolondo in a move likely to lift the level at the popular fishing destination by half a metre.
The corporation decided on the transfer after assessing storage circumstances against a Rocklands-toolondo release trigger level.
Gwmwater water resources manager Kym Wilson said further assessments of water levels and catchment conditions in the next fortnight would help determine if the transfer amount should increase.
“Rocklands Reservoir is at a good level and as part of an annual storage-management plan it is now appropriate to hold more water in Toolondo,” he said.
“It’s really a great outcome in supporting recreation opportunities at Toolondo.”
A management plan involving water transfer between Rocklands and Toolondo includes a Rocklands trigger level of 116,000 megalitres.
Water managers consider the trigger level and other circumstances when assessing whether a transfer is appropriate. Rocklands is holding about 130,000 megalitres.
“On this occasion it satisfies requirements,” Mr Wilson said.
“It’s nice to see storages still in a good position. Rain has been a little light on in terms of the catchment but we still have the primary inflow season yet to occur.
“Catchments are quite wet and all it will take is continued rain to get run-off. It all depends on the weather to come. Overall, we’ve carried a lot of water forward in storage from last year and that has set us up for a really good year ahead.”
While the regional water storages appear in a healthy condition, the weather and other circumstances have left Wimmera farmers ‘better than some, but worse than others’.
With crops across the region transforming the landscape into a patchwork of green, Victorian Farmers Federation president David Jochinke said his observations suggested the Wimmera had so far some of the best looking crops in the state.
But he added that they had also suffered greater attack from mice than other rural areas.
“For the Wimmera the season is looking relatively okay at the moment. We had some timely rain after having a very dry and frosty period while other places have missed out,” he said.
“But crops here have been hit by mice while other areas have had nowhere near the amount of mice.”
Mr Jochinke said the hope was for another productive season to help consolidate recovery from previous dry years.
“The crops are starting to get a full head of steam, although some might not be as advanced as other seasons because of cold conditions. What we want now is to get some regular decent rain. Most farmers will also be looking for a mild spring and no frosts,” he said.
“It’s been spring that has let us down in the recent years but if we get a winter and spring that behave themselves the potential is there.
“We’re seeing cereal prices on the improve, but at the same time reduction in pulse prices. So the cycle continues to roll on.”