Gippsland Lakes

The Gippsland Lakes are one of Victoria’s major environmental and tourism destinations.

Spanning an area of 340km², the Lakes form the largest navigable network of inland waterways in Australia. The Lakes are of great environmental importance, and contain a number of internationally significant RAMSAR wetlands.

As a major tourism and recreation destination, the Lakes provide enormous economic benefits to the Gippsland region.

Gippsland Lakes Algae Weekly Update

The waters of the Gippsland Lakes are monitored regularly by the Department of Environment, Water, Land and Planning (DEWLP) for the presence of algae. Water samples are collected and the types of algae identified and quantified.

Guidelines set by the Department of Health determine the level of response required by the authorities to ensure public safety. In the event of a bloom, a multi-agency Incident Management Team is convened to respond to the situation. If the level of blue-green algae exceeds a certain level warnings are issued through all forms of media and signs may be erected at key access points to the Lakes and if a bloom occurs the toxin levels in seafood are also monitored to ensure that seafood in affected areas is safe for human consumption.

Gippsland Lakes Weekly Update



In 2002 the State Government implemented the Gippsland Lakes Future Directions and Actions Plan. The Plan aims to reduce nutrient levels entering the Lakes by 40 percent by 2022. The Plan address five key areas:

  1. reducing nutrient levels entering the Lakes;
  2. balancing freshwater and salt water flows;
  3. maintaining wetlands biodiversity;
  4. increasing community awareness and participation, and
  5. continued planning and evaluation of the program’s effectiveness.

Between 2002 – 2006, the State Government allocated $12.8 million to projects and a further $6M from June 2006 – June 2009. A copy of the projects for 2008-09 can be viewed here: Projects for 2008-09 (XLS 34 kb). Read the Gippsland Lakes Future Directions and Actions Plan The Gippsland Lakes and Catchment Taskforce undertook several projects to assist the management of the Lakes and their catchment and to improve our understanding of catchment and in-lake processes. The Taskforce also commissioned several reports to refine the investment in the Plan to ensure project address high priority activities and high priority locations. The following reports are available:


With seven rivers flowing into the Gippsland Lakes, and a total catchment area over 20,000 km² -almost 10 per cent of the State- the capacity for communities to have an impact on the Lakes’ health is enormous. Some simple steps you can take to help save the Lakes include:

  • Preventing contaminants such as sediment or fertilisers from entering drains and waterways from your house or property
  • Disposing of your waste in the right way. (Read about boat sewage pump out)
  • Not littering our waterways and water bodies
  • Supporting those actions in your local areas which benefit our Lakes and streams.

Guidance Material

Research and Reports

Superseded Reports and Strategies