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Lake Eyre Basin fills

30 November 2010

Floodwaters are flowing from Cooper Creek all the way to Lake Eyre for the first time in 20 years, leading to an amazing amount of fish and bird life in the region – as well as people looking to use their boats on the lake.

Lake EyreDirector, Transport Safety Regulation Brian Hemming said boat registration, licensing and safety equipment requirements and laws apply to all South Australian waters – including the recently filled Lake Eyre.

“People should not assume that because this is a remote area the rules of safety don’t apply – they do.

“All the usual requirements apply – for registration, licensing and safety equipment – to all South Australian waters, even the temporary ones like Lake Eyre.

“It’s your responsibility to be properly equipped and prepared for all emergencies prior to travelling into remote outback areas.”

The lake is within the Lake Eyre National Park. To undertake certain activities, including boating, a person must have permission from the Director, National Parks and Wildlife. Penalties may apply to those boating without approval.

Lake Eyre currently has about 70 percent of its surface covered with water, but this doesn’t equate to a lot of volume, so anyone who ventures out with their boat needs to do so with caution.

“Boat operators should also be aware of potential hazards under the water in these newly flooded areas, including submerged bushes and logs.”

Meanwhile floodwaters are bringing with them fish like Lake Eyre Golden Perch, Cooper Creek Catfish, grunters and yabbies.

It’s quite a rare and unique ecosystem in this area of Australia, so fisheries are moving to protect the local fish stocks from those looking to exploit fishing rules.