Regular testing has detected levels of blue-green algae above levels considered safe for recreation use at Lake Lonsdale.
We warn the public to avoid direct contact with the water. People may still boat, sightsee and enjoy other activities at the lake that do not involve direct water contact.
Warning signs have been positioned at major recreational areas around the lake and will remain in place while the warning is current.
Lake Lonsdale is a large, shallow reservoir on the Mt William Creek. It fills from its own catchment and is reliant on natural inflows. Although the catchment can be a substantial producer of water during wet years because of its very large area, it isn't reliable during times of drought. Given its relatively shallow depth, the lake also has high evaporation losses over summer months.
Since the introduction of the Wimmera Mallee Pipeline, the lake is no longer used by GWMWater for domestic or stock water supply, however it's still a key source of water for the environment. Lake Lonsdale also has an important role in the community as a recreational lake in the Stawell area, hosting a number of activities on its northern side, such as boating, fishing, swimming, camping and water skiing.
Camping is permitted in regional Victoria under step three of the road map to COVID Normal, subject to gathering restrictions and social bubbles. This means you can camp with the people you live with, your intimate partner, or the household you have formed a bubble with (your household can book campsites with up to five members of your bubble household).
Communal facilities such as toilets and boat ramps remain open for visitors from regional Victoria. Physical distancing and outdoor gathering requirements apply at all times – including at the boat ramp and on your boat.
Please note, masks are always required to be worn while outdoors at campsites, unless eating, drinking, smoking (if permitted), or if you have a lawful exemption from wearing one.
Step 1 to reopening applies to residents of metropolitan Melbourne. Under step one, you must not travel more than five kilometres from where you live except for permitted reasons such as work or education if these cannot be done at home.
For more information about coronavirus and social distancing, visit: dhhs.vic.gov.au/coronavirus
- in designated areas only (not in sandbar area)
- long-term camping (8+ weeks) needs to be approved by the Patrol Officer
- camp away from other visitors at established camp grounds if camping with dogs
- Camp fires
- allowed in properly constructed fireplace. Fire pits are available
permitted in line with Country Fire Authority https://www.cfa.vic.gov.au/warnings-restrictions/can
fire must be completely extinguished with water, not soil, before the last person leaves
- Portable generators
- must be within 10 metres of your own tent and closer to your tent than anyone else’s
- don't put them in long grass as they can start fires!
- designated boat ramps must be used
- Duck shooting
- Duck hunting has been closed on Lake Lonsdale for the 2020 duck season due to the presence of a large number of threatened Blue-billed Duck
- must be under control at all times and tethered at night
- to be kept on a leash in picnic and camping areas or when near other visitors
- bring own bag to remove any faeces deposited by your dog
- must not enter the water, excluding duck season for the retrieval of ducks
- must keep to the obvious tracks
- not permitted on the beach or sand dunes
- speed limit 10 km/h within Lake Lonsdale reserve area
- no unregistered motor vehicles including trail bikes
We've developed a plan to improve the recreational use of Lake Lonsdale.
See what's planned. Lake Lonsdale Management Plan (621kB, 34 pages)
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