Wivenhoe Dam now officially open to power boats
THE dam walls haven't come down, but a revolution is in store for Wivenhoe.
After 30 years, the magnificent artificial lake is finally open for power boats up to a speed of six knots.
Queensland Water Supply Minister Mark McArdle officially opened the Dam for power boat traffic at a launch this morning at Logan's Inlet.
Mr McArdle said the decision was a response to community feedback.
"Vessels with very low emission motors travelling at a maximum speed of six knots will be allowed on Lake Wivenhoe this summer," he said.
Mr McArdle said this limited motors to four-strokes or fuel-injected two-strokes.
"Seqwater has made an assessment that this new activity can be managed without impacting on water quality."
The decision delighted the president of Freshwater Fishing and Stocking Association of Queensland (FFSAQ) president Robin Caddy who said the decision would have a positive effect on the environment.
"Fishermen look after the environment," Mr Caddy said.
"The aeration of the runoff from the propeller will actually benefit the lake."
Mr Caddy said he had been fighting to allow power boats on the lake for 10 years.
"This will see the economic growth of Esk and Fernvale due to increased tourism and fishing in the summer season," he said.
"This has the potential to go like wildfire."
FFSAQ executive officer Les Kowitz said allowing restricted use of power boats on Wivenhoe was strongly supported by the region's fishing community.
"This is a fantastic initiative and one that has been warmly welcomed by recreational fishers," Mr Kowitz said.
"It not only allows for greater access to the dam but will improve the safety aspect immeasurably whilst fishing on Lake Wivenhoe."
Somerset Regional Council Mayor Graeme Lehmann said he was pleased motorised water crafts were now allowed subject to restrictions.
"All these changes, as highlighted in the recreational review, will bring a huge boost to tourism within the Somerset region and that will bring a multitude of benefits to our local business owners," he said.
Seqwater Acting Chief Executive Officer, Peter Dennis, said before accessing the lake, boaties would need to obtain a Seqwater boating permit for all vessels that are carried by a trailer and boats needed to be registered to obtain a permit.
"While the majority of the lake is open to restricted-fuel powered boats, there is an exclusion zone approximately three kilometres upstream of the dam wall," Mr Dennis said.
"This is required for operational reasons, and will be clearly marked by a buoy-line on the lake."