Lake Mokoan

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Lake Mokoan
Aerial view from the south east in mid-2008
Coordinates36°27′S 146°6′E / 36.450°S 146.100°E / -36.450; 146.100Coordinates: 36°27′S 146°6′E / 36.450°S 146.100°E / -36.450; 146.100
Basin countriesAustralia
Surface area78.9 km2 (30.5 sq mi)
Max. depth7 m (23 ft)

Lake Mokoan was an artificial lake in Victoria, Australia. It was created in 1971 when water from Broken River and Hollands Creek was diverted into Winton Swamp roughly 7 km from Benalla. The lake was characterized by dozens of dead trees emerging from its depths. Although a popular tourist destination, the Victorian government decided to decommission the lake and restore the area to its original wetland state.[1]

The lake was formed in the late 1960s on the site of the former Winton and Green Swamps, being completed in 1971.[2][3] The lake regularly suffered from serious toxic algal blooms since its creation.[4][5][6] The large but shallow lake has a very high surface to volume ratio, resulting in very extensive water loss through evaporation.

Plans for decommissioning started in 2004,[7] with work started in 2009.[8] Decommissioning the lake was expected to allow for the return of 44,000 megalitres of water per year to the Broken, Goulburn, Snowy and Murray Rivers, with environmental and economic benefits to both upstream and downstream areas.[9] 25 gigalitres of the lake will be released into the Murray River system and another 20 gigalitres into the Snowy River.[citation needed]

The Winton Wetlands Reserve has been formed to protect the Lake Mokoan area. A Restaurant and Cafe, information signs and artworks related to the landscape have been installed. Camping is available and fishing is permitted. Day walks and cycle trails are being developed. Environmental restoration is progressing and plants and animals are returning to the site. [10]


  1. ^ "MIDWEEK MAGAZINE Folly of building dams in a rush or against advice". The Canberra Times. 65, (20, 556). Australian Capital Territory, Australia. 24 July 1991. p. 24. Retrieved 8 March 2017 – via National Library of Australia.
  2. ^ "Dam open". The Canberra Times. 46, (12, 937). Australian Capital Territory, Australia. 9 October 1971. p. 9. Retrieved 8 March 2017 – via National Library of Australia., ...The third largest reservoir in Victoria, Lake Mokoan, near Benalla, was officially opened by the Minister of Water Supply, Mr Dunstan, today...
  3. ^ Goulburn-Murray Water. "Lake Mokoan". Retrieved 2010-01-17.
  4. ^ Graeme O'Neill (4 December 1991). "Scientists warn on toxic algae". The Age. p. 5. Retrieved March 8, 2017.
  5. ^ Sue Neales (4 January 1995). "Blue-green algae outbreak likely to be worst on record". The Age. p. 3. Retrieved March 8, 2017.
  6. ^ Mokoan - return to wetland
  7. ^ Nance Haxton (July 28, 2004). "Man made lake to be released into Murray River". PM. Retrieved 2010-01-17.
  8. ^ "Lake Mokoan decommissioning delayed". ABC News. March 30, 2009. Retrieved 2010-01-17.
  9. ^ "Flow Regime Fact Sheet" (PDF). Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority. July 2006. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2006-08-19.
  10. ^ Winton Wetland Committee of management.Benalla park bans kite flying and model helicopters, Matt Johnston, October 14, 2010, Herald Sun