Yambuna Lagoon is 11ha in size and is located on the Goulburn River floodplain 22km east of Echuca in northern Victoria. It is predominantly on private property, with a small section (<1 ha) on land gazetted as National Park. Covering about 11 hectares, the lagoon was identified as a good location for flooding because it is a Wetland of National Significance with a range of environmental and social values including:
- a diversity of wetland types
- two depleted ecological vegetation classes; Rushy Riverine Swamp and Riverine Swamp Forest
- the presence of two threatened plant species (River Swamp Wallaby-grass Amphibromus fluitans and Floodplain Fireweed Senecio campylocarpus)
- it provides connectivity with three other wetlands within the adjoining Lower Goulburn National Park, allowing the movement of flows and fish with the Goulburn River
- the presence of a scar tree of significance to local Indigenous people
- is largely owned by a highly motivated private owner dedicated to preserving wetlands
The landholder of Yambuna Lagoon is passionate about agriculture and wetlands. Like many wetlands in the Murray-Darling Basin, the flooding of Yambuna Lagoon has changed due to river regulation. The landholder’s vision for this wetland is to provide more natural flows, and ensure the forest and wetland vegetation is maintained for bird and frog habitat. Particularly important in this wetland, is to maintain the health of vegetation communities (Rushy Riverine Swamp and Riverine Swamp Forest) and threatened flora species, provide habitat for waterbird and maintain the health of culturally significant trees.
The project commenced in September 2017 with an ongoing watering program for the next ten years.
Using water from the Environmental Water Trust, we will work with the landholder and our partners to restore a more natural hydrological regime to the lagoon and its associated floodplains. It is hoped that this will maintain and restore the ecological values of the area. We will also undertake regular monitoring of the wetland, focusing on tree health, vegetation diversity and ecology.
We want to restore flooding to this lagoon to maintain the health of the Rushy Riverine Swamp and Riverine Swamp Forest vegetation communities. Looking after the health of vegetation has flow on effects for birds and the health of culturally significant trees. For example, since watering began, we have discovered 25 different species of waterbirds using the lagoon including four threatened or vulnerable listed species – the Eastern great egret, royal spoonbill, white-bellied sea eagle and azure kingfisher.