Destination: Taylors Lake, Wimmera

By: John Willis


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Taylors Lake is turning into a highly sought-after destination for fishermen, skiers and general water lovers.

Destination: Taylors Lake, Wimmera
DESTIANTIONS — Wimmera Oasis

TAYLORS LAKE

Taylors Lake is an oasis desert that has been developed by Grampians Wimmera Mallee-Water (GWMWater) in conjunction with Marine Safety Victoria. It is located approximately 20km south-east of Horsham and can be reached via the Western Highway or Horsham Lubeck Road.

Water comes from the upper reservoirs of the Grampians from both the Wimmera Inlet channel and the Rocklands (Burnt Creek) channel. In addition, the Wimmera River flows can be harvested to Taylors Lake from the Wimmera Inlet channel. There is also a small natural catchment to the northern Grampians area, covering 80.6km², with Potters Creek being the main watercourse.

At the new (2009) full supply level, the lake has a water surface area of 490 hectares, a maximum depth of 8.3m, and a capacity of 26,060Mlt.

It has been an important part of the Wimmera-Mallee water supply system in the past, and today it remains an important component of the nearly completed Wimmera Mallee Pipeline system.

The lake’s importance as a local fishery was first recognised in 1932, when the first consignment of Murray cod from the Murray River was released into the lake. Today, there may still be grand old goodoo and yellowbelly lurking among the fallen trees, as well as sizeable redfin and yabbie populations.

The lake also provides habitat for a wide diversity of native birdlife such as sea eagles and waders, and patient observers may even get a glimpse of the endangered brolgas. It also serves duck shooters, sailors and canoeists, and I would highly recommend it as a destination for kayak anglers.

 

A PLACE TO BE

The Taylors Lake Recreation Plan stakeholder working group was formed in February 2009 to develop short and long term recreational plans for the lake in conjunction with GWMWater. Taylors Lake is used as a recreational lake, particularly for fishing, waterskiing and swimming, and its popularity has increased over recent years due to the short supply of water in surrounding lakes and rivers precluding most watersports.

"To make the lake what the community wants it to be" was the working group’s stated objective, and what followed were a number of initiatives to improve the lake and its amenities, with much of the funding coming from Marine Safety Victoria, the Commonwealth Regional and Local Community Infrastructure Program, Horsham Rural City Council, and GWMWater.

These working group’s priorities included:

• Tree relocation at the boat ramp and Pines area for safer boating.

• Boat ramp extension and widening construction to two lanes.

• Depth survey of the lake-bed to identify obstacles and inform on boat operating rules.

• Powerline relocation at the boat ramp.

• Self-composting toilet installed at the boat ramp carpark.

• A Marine Safety Victoria revision of boat operating rules and installation of
buoys and signage.

From a visitor’s point of view I must say that I believe the working group is well on the track on achieving its goals. I should also add that installation of a floating jetty at the boat ramp is scheduled to be completed in autumn this year. Later in 2010, subject to funding grants, GWMWater said it also intends to improve fishing access, expand the existing carpark, commence development of the western side of the lake with a boat ramp and boat trailer parking area, and develop a precinct plan for the proposed multi-purpose community facility at the northern end of the lake.

I applaud all of those associated with this terrific marine venue and recreation reserve that not only provides a great service to the entire community, but also recognises and enhances the natural heritage, aboriginal culture, and native flora and fauna of the area.

I say this because I believe Taylors Lake is a truly welcome oasis for Western Victoria that creates a great regional destination for tourism from all over the country. The close proximity to the beautiful Grampians National Park, the Great Western wineries, Little Desert and Mount Arapiles, the Big Koala at Dadswells Bridge, and Horsham itself with its golf courses, the Wimmera River, shops and accommodation make it an ideal holiday location for all the family.

Tatlors Lake is a scenic three and a half hour drive from Melbourne, or about five hours from Adelaide.

 

Originally published in TrailerBoat #255.


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