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 Meningie, Narrung
1 Shore length is not a well-defined measure.

Lake Albert is a notionally fresh water lake near the mouth of the Murray River in South Australia. 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 was raised, and tension remains between South Australia and the upstream states over how to share the dwindling supply of water.[3] To this day the lake remains at significant risk of water loss and high salinity.[4]

Flora and fauna[edit]

Birds[edit]

Lake Albert 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.[5]

Protected area status[edit]

Australian government[edit]

Lake Albert is part of the wetland complex known as the Coorong and Lakes Alexandrina and Albert Wetland which is listed as a Ramsar site. The wetland is also appears in the non-statutory list known as A Directory of Important Wetlands in Australia.[6][7]

Non-statutory arrangements[edit]

Lake Albert is included within the boundary of the Lakes Alexandrina and Albert Important Bird Area which is an area considered by BirdLife International to be a place of ‘international significance for the conservation of birds and other biodiversity.’[5][8]

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. ^ "South Australia seeks more Murray River flow from upstream states to fight Lake Albert salinity". ABC Online. 2014-09-02. 
  5. ^ a b "Important Bird Areas factsheet: Lakes Alexandrina and Albert". BirdLife International. Retrieved 19 January 2015. 
  6. ^ "Coorong and Lakes Alexandrina and Albert Wetland Ramsar site" (PDF). Department of Environment Water and Natural Resources. 28 January 2014. Retrieved 19 January 2015. 
  7. ^ "Australian Wetlands Database - Directory Wetland Information Sheet: The Coorong, Lake Alexandrina & Lake Albert - SA063". Commonwealth of Australia, Department of the Environment. 31 May 2005. Retrieved 19 January 2015. 
  8. ^ "Sites - Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBAs)". BirdLife International. Retrieved 19 January 2015.