Gunnedah’s Syd Knight is concerned about the level and usage of Lake Keepit’s water.
Is there anything we can do about the water level in Lake Keepit?
Lake Keepit is half an hour from Gunnedah, Tamworth and Manilla in northern NSW.
The dam was being built at the start of World War I and when it was being built, it was for flood mitigation and recreational purposes.
The dam is used for fishing, sailing and water sports.
The government sells water to the cotton industry and mines in our local area, which is fine, but I would like to see 20 per cent of the water remain in Lake Keepit and the other 80 per cent could be sold for industry purposes.
With the water level being so low, at 3.5 per cent, it affects small business around the area that rely on water levels for their survival.
At the moment, the water is just about back into the river, which allows the pelicans and shags to wipe out the remaining small fish and fingerlings that local fishing groups have previously released into it.
In the dam at the moment, you can take cod, yellowbelly, catfish and bream until cod season closes.
With the dam levels being so low, the Namoi River suffers.
In the river, you can only take cod and yellowbelly, and when cod season is closed, that only leaves you yellowbelly.
If you are the holder of a fishing licence, this means you can only fish one species of fish because
of the restrictions, but if the dam was kept at 20 per cent, you would have a choice of several species of fish.
I don’t want to ruffle anyone’s feathers, but I do think that people who fish the dam, along with small businesses that rely on the dam as part of their livelihood, should have the right to know why we can’t leave 20 per cent water in the dam at all times so people can enjoy this facility for whatever recreational reason.
I don’t know how to get the right people to take up this issue that I believe needs some attention.