Lake Cargelligo is located on the Lachlan River floodplain in the Central West of NSW. Prior to regulation, Lake Cargelligo was originally a natural wetland system, filled by flooding flows which travelled across the floodplain from the Lachlan River. When inundated, the lake supported a large Aboriginal Community through the presence of waterbird and native fish populations.

As it is downstream of all major tributaries in the Lachlan, the operation of filling and releasing water from this storage has a significant impact on flow in the Lower Lachlan and benefits downstream water users.

The Lake Cargelligo community values the Lake System as:

  • A valuable wetland habitat and drought refuge for many native species;
  • A town, stock and domestic water supply; and,
  • A recreation and tourism facility.

As the system comprises of a variety of habitat types in a highly variable environment and is one of the few wetland systems in the lower Lachlan Catchment to receive inflows over drought years, it is proving to be an important refuge for native fish and waterbirds. It is also known to support a number of endangered or vulnerable species including the painted snipe, blue-billed duck, Australasian bittern, and freckled duck. The Lake is also known for its significant cultural and heritage values. For these reasons it has been included as a regionally significant wetland in the Lachlan Environmental Water Management Plan.

This Environmental Managment Plan has been developed in consultation with the Cargelligo Wetlands and Lakes Council and the Lake Cargelligo community, with finanical assistance from the Lachlan Catchment Managment Authority (CMA). The purpose of the Plan is to enhance the environmental, cultural and social values attached to this riverine system. This will be achieved through community knowledge and resources.

Acknowlegements are given to the following contributors:
Barbara Nilsson, Bob Sanson, Doug Hart, Ian Kemp, James Blacker, James Brown, John Twommey, Mark Hall, Peter Nilsson, Peter Skipworth, Robert King and Terry Mann.

Click here to view the Lake Cargelligo Community Environmental Management Plan.