Salty Gippsland Lakes

Have you noticed that the lakes are as salty as the sea? It’s not your imagination, it’s a fact. The lakes have transformed from an estuarine environment to a salt water environment. This is principally due to the dredging of the artificial entrance at Lakes Entrance from a historical depth of 2.5m to 6m in 2008.

The increased depth of the entrance allows more salt water to enter the lakes system which impacts on a range of plants and animals that depend on the freshwater flows from the feeding rivers. This includes fringing vegetation (as seen in the photo) which is steadily dying and causing bank erosion.

The increase in salinity has also created a perfect habitat for invasive salt water exotic species such as the European shore crab. This crab is a veracious predator that destroys ecosystems and impacts on tourism, aquaculture, recreational and commercial fishing.