Caring for the Pike Floodplain
About the Pike Floodplain
The Pike Floodplain is located near Renmark and covers more than 6,700 hectares between Paringa and Lyrup.
It is a high priority ecological and cultural area with varied aquatic habitats, fast and slow flowing anabranches and both permanent and temporary wetlands.
The ecological health of the Pike Floodplain has been declining because of altered flow regimes, elevated highly saline groundwater, obstructions to fish passage, and pest plants and animals.
Aims for the Pike Floodplain
There is a plan in place for how we manage the Pike Floodplain. The aims of the plan are to:
- foster and promote sustainable irrigation practices
- increase floodplain inundation
- maintain permanent wetlands and seasonally variable water levels
- restore flowing habitat
- provide fish passage
- reduce floodplain soil and water salinities
- remove grazing pressure
- promote sustainable recreation.
This plan is being implemented through the Pike Implementation Program. It aims to get stakeholders working together to improve the ecological condition of the floodplain and sustain the local irrigation community. Read the latest update about the program.
How we are caring for the Pike Floodplain
The Pike Floodplain system wraps around Lock 5, which gives us the opportunity to inundate the floodplain with water. This means we can improve the health of the floodplain by managing flows into and around it. This has required us to improve the infrastructure that we use to manage flows.
Improving the infrastructure also involves constructing special fishways that mean fish from downstream of Lock 5 can migrate upstream through the Pike floodplain – something they haven’t been able to do since the lock was constructed in the 1930s.
These works are taking place as part of the Riverine Recovery Project and the SA Riverland Integrated Infrastructure Program, which are being delivered by the Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources.
What has been done so far?
On-ground works completed are:
- a new regulator, fishway and bridge at the Deep Creek inlet
- replacement of culverts and banks to improve fish passage
- irrigation infrastructure under various water level scenarios has been assessed.
What will be happening next?
The next stage of on-ground works will involve:
- the construction of major and minor regulators
- the construction of blocking banks
- other works and measures, including salinity and groundwater management.
Early investigations and planning are now completed. Construction started in 2015 and will be completed by 2020.
Department for Environment and Water
Pike River Land Management Group, Renmark-Paringa Council and Renmark to the Border Local Action Planning
SARFIIP is a $155 million investment program funded by the Australian Government and implemented by the South Australian Government to improve the watering and management of River Murray floodplains in South Australia’s Riverland.
RRP is a $91 million Australian Government initiative to improve the health of the River Murray and its wetlands and floodplains from the South Australian-Victorian border to Wellington.