Lake Mokoan

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Lake Mokoan
Aerial view from the south east in mid-2008
Location Victoria
Coordinates 36°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
Type reservoir
Basin countries Australia
Surface area 78.9 km²
Max. depth 7 m

Lake Mokoan is 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 is characterized by dozens of dead trees emerging from its depths. Although a popular tourist destination, the Victorian government has decided to decommission the lake in the near future and restore the area to its original wetland state.

The lake was formed in the late 1960s on the site of the former Winton and Green Swamps, being completed in 1971.[1] The lake has regularly suffered from serious toxic algal blooms since its creation.[2][3] 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,[4] with work started in 2009.[5] Decommissioning the lake is 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.[6] 25 gigalitres of the lake will be released into the Murray River system and another 20 gigalitres into the Snowy River. Eventually the entire lake will be emptied.

The Winton Wetlands Reserve has been formed to protect the Lake Mokoan area. Reserve rules ban many recreational activities, such as camping, angling, putting up beach umbrellas, flying kites, and throwing stones.[7]


  1. ^ Goulburn-Murray Water. "Lake Mokoan". Retrieved 2010-01-17. 
  2. ^ for example, "The Age", 4 December 1991, page 5; "The Age" 4th Jan 1995, page 3
  3. ^ Mokoan - return to wetland
  4. ^ Nance Haxton (July 28, 2004). "Man made lake to be released into Murray River". PM. Retrieved 2010-01-17. 
  5. ^ "Lake Mokoan decommissioning delayed". ABC News. March 30, 2009. Retrieved 2010-01-17. 
  6. ^
  7. ^
  • "The Age", 4 December 1991, page 5;
  • "The Age" 4th Jan 1995, page 3;