SAFER CONDITIONS FOR BOATERS AT LAKE KEEPIT
Member for Tamworth Kevin Anderson today announced that boaters accessing Lake Keepit will experience safer conditions in coming weeks as Roads and Maritime Services starts work to relocate submerged hazards to improve safety and enhance the important fish habitat.
Mr Anderson said the water level in Lake Keepit is currently very low so tree stumps and branches which are usually submerged are high and dry.
“Lake Keepit was built in 1960 and is an important recreational location for fishing, sailing and waterskiing.
“Many large trees which previously lined the banks of the Namoi River were flooded with the inundation of the dam and remain today as indicators of the line of the old river bed.
“In an area of the lake known as The Basin, the tree stumps form an important fish habitat for Murray Cod, Golden Perch, Catfish and Silver Perch however present a danger to vessels even with water levels at 90 per cent.”
Mr Anderson said water levels are now at some of the lowest levels since 2007 and previous to that in 1994.
“In consultation with NSW Fisheries, Water NSW and Lake Keepit Sailing Club, Roads and Maritime will relocate some exposed stumps and logs to deeper areas of the lake where they will form new fish habitat.
“The relocation meets key criteria in the Regional Boating Plan to increase on-water safety.
“The remains of the old Huntsgrove homestead and associated cemetery, timber cattleyards and fencing will be preserved in place due to their important heritage value.
“The homestead is only a potential hazard when water levels are between about five and seven per cent,” Mr Anderson said.
Boat operators using Lake Keepit are reminded that there are still many potential hazards to navigation and should always maintain a proper lookout and travel at a speed appropriate to the conditions and the dam level.
For more information visit www.rms.nsw.gov.au