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Most likely, more floods to come
  |  First Published: November 2016



My predictions for the region have come to fruition over the last couple of weeks. With the catchments saturated, the region’s reservoirs reached high levels again this season. What I didn’t predict was how quick it would happen.

RECORD RAINFALL FOR BENDIGO

The region has received record-breaking rainfall. Most areas in the Bendigo region have received the most rainfall in September ever recorded. The majority of this rainfall was received during mid-September. This rainfall event produced major inflows and we’ve seen our impoundments rise at a rapid rate.

The region has already experienced flooding. The Loddon River has been in major flood levels and the Campaspe River has experienced moderate flooding at this stage. Given the current conditions with our catchment still very saturated and our impoundments at high levels, there’s still a high chance we’ll see more flooding over the next couple of months.

LAKE EPPALOCK

We’ve seen an amazing amount of water run into Lake Eppalock over the last couple of weeks. In the middle of September, the three impoundments, which are also on the Coliban catchment, reached capacity. The region then received three days of heavy rainfall. The lake’s water level increased from 47% to over 80% capacity in just a few days – an amazing amount of water.

Water levels have continued to increase at a steady rate. With more substantial rain forecast in the future, water levels should continue to increase. Water authorities will be trying to manage the water as best as they can. There will continue to be high releases from the lake for flood mitigation over the next few weeks.

The water clarity is currently poor due to the major inflows. Water clarity should improve over the next few weeks when the water starts to settle. The poor water clarity has meant the productivity in lure fishing has been slow and will continue to be slow for the next couple of weeks.

When the water clarity improves, we’ll again see good fishing at this location. The productivity of the redfin fishing will be great this season. We’ll also see the most productive golden perch fishing at this destination in over a decade. So while the fishing is low at the moment, get your gear ready. Before you know it, the lake will start to fire!

CAMPASPE RIVER

We’ve seen some moderate flooding already down the Campaspe River this season. The flooding has eased, but with more good rainfall forecast, the chance of seeing more flooding down the Campaspe River continues to be very high. Currently, the river’s water clarity is very poor.

The poor water clarity will continue for at least the next month. This is going to mean the productivity of those anglers who are wanting to fish the Campaspe River with lures is going to stay low. Baitfishing is going to be the best option until water clarity improves later in the season. The first location where this will change is below the spillway at Lake Eppalock.

If Lake Eppalock reaches capacity – with the current conditions the chances of this happening is high – then a week after the spillway is running, we’ll start to see some productive fishing at this location. The productive fishing will continue for as long as the water continues to run over the spillway.

CAIRN CURRAN

What an amazing amount of water – after the heavy rainfall, the lake’s capacity was at 50% one morning and by the next the capacity had risen to 94%. This was with the water authorities releasing 10,000ml overnight! It’s an incredible amount of water in a short time period.

Fishing is slow. Those anglers who’ve been fishing this location have been getting small numbers of redfin casting around the edges of the lake. The numbers of golden perch being caught has been low on lures. Small numbers of golden perch have been caught by anglers baitfishing from the shoreline.

In another few weeks when the water temperatures increase, we’ll start to see an improvement in anglers’ catch rates. Water clarity should slowly start to improve again, depending on the inflows. We’re going to see some very productive fishing at this location this season again when the conditions are right look out!

LODDON RIVER

We’ve seen major flooding in the Loddon River in recent weeks. Water clarity has been poor and the productivity in lure fishing has been low. Baitfishing continues to be the most productive method with the current conditions. With more heavy rainfall forecast, the chances are high that we’ll see more flooding down the Loddon River this season.

If this happens, the productivity of fishing will continue to be low. After the peak of these flooding events, when the water clarity settles, anglers can experience some good fishing.

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The productivity in the redfin fishing will be very good in the local Bendigo impoundments this season.

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