Lake Albert (South Australia)

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For other uses, see Lake Albert (disambiguation).
Lake Albert
MeningieLakeAlbert.JPG
Lake Albert seen from Meningie
Location South Australia
Coordinates 35°37′S 139°18′E / 35.617°S 139.300°E / -35.617; 139.300Coordinates: 35°37′S 139°18′E / 35.617°S 139.300°E / -35.617; 139.300
Primary inflows Murray River
Basin countries Australia
Shore length1 Sandy
Islands Nil
Settlements Closest to Meningie S.A
1 Shore length is not a well-defined measure.

Lake Albert (35°37′S 139°18′E / 35.617°S 139.300°E / -35.617; 139.300) is a notionally fresh water lake near the mouth of the Murray River. It is filled by water flowing in from the larger Lake Alexandrina at its mouth near Narrung. It is separated on the south by the Narrung Peninsula from the salt-water Coorong. The only major town on the lake is Meningie. Lakes Alexandrina and Albert are together known as the Lower Lakes.

Name[edit]

The lake was named after Prince Albert, the Consort of Queen Victoria by the Governor, George Gawler.[1]

Tourism[edit]

Lake Albert is visited regularly by people traveling to and from Melbourne, the Limestone Coast, the Coorong National Park, Tailem Bend, Murray Bridge, and Adelaide. Visitors enjoy fishing, camping, bushwalking, 4WD tracks, bird watching, water sports, and many land-based sporting clubs such as lawn bowls, cricket, football, netball, tennis, croquet, shooting, motorcycling, karate, pony riding, and golf in the Township of Meningie.

Water problems[edit]

Because there are no significant tributaries and a high evaporation rate, Lake Albert is saltier than Lake Alexandrina. It is also smaller and not as deep, but it is more protected from the elements. In 2008, water levels in Lake Alexandrina and Lake Albert became so low that large quantities of acid sulphate soils started to form.[2] The possibility of flooding the lake with seawater to prevent acidification has been raised, and there is tension between South Australia and the upstream states over how to share the dwindling supply of water.[3] More recently, in early 2012, the water level of Lake Albert has returned to pre-drought levels. This has been welcomed by local irrigators and business owners, and now Lake Albert is the focus of several tourism campaigns aimed to attract people to this region, including the Coorong National Park.

Birds[edit]

The lake forms part of the 1300 km2 Lakes Alexandrina and Albert Important Bird Area (IBA), identified as such by BirdLife International because it regularly supports critically endangered Orange-bellied Parrots, endangered Australasian Bitterns, vulnerable Fairy Terns, as well as over 1% of the world populations of Cape Barren Geese, Australian Shelducks, Great Cormorants and Sharp-tailed Sandpipers.[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The Southern Australian.". Southern Australian (Adelaide, SA : 1838 - 1844) (Adelaide, SA: National Library of Australia). 11 September 1840. p. 2. Retrieved 15 June 2014. 
  2. ^ "Catalyst - Fire, Flood and Acid Mud". Retrieved 2008-05-07. 
  3. ^ "Now a dust bowl where once was a lake". The Australian. 2009-03-07. 
  4. ^ "IBA: Lakes Alexandrina and Albert". Birdata. Birds Australia. Retrieved 2011-08-03.