Proposed waterway rule changes

  • The requirement that all vessels must reduce speed to 5 knots within 50 metres of a person in the water. Swimming continues to be permitted in the lake at all times.
  • The requirement that all vessels continue to be prohibited in the ‘Swimming Only - No Boating’ area at the southern shore marked by two red buoys and two corresponding shore markers.
  • The requirement that all powerboats and personal water crafts (PWC) are to slow within 50 metres of human powered vessels (kayaks, canoes, etc.).
  • The requirement that all vessels must slow to 5 knots within 25 metres of the shore.  The 5 knot zone will extend an additional 10 metres from shoreline vegetation.
  • The requirement that towed sports and powered vessels can continue use of the lake during the following times:

Season

Months

Times

Spring

September, October, November

9:00 AM to 6:00 PM

Summer

December, January, February

9:00 AM to 8:00 PM

Autumn

March, April, May

9:00 AM to 6:00 PM

Winter

June, July, August

9:00 AM to 5:00 PM

Note: Fishers in human powered vessels are only permitted outside these times.

  • The requirement that powered vessels and towed sports must continue to travel in a clockwise direction on Bridgewater Lakes.
  • A 5 knot zone will continue to be located at the southern end of the lake bounded by two signs on the shore approximately 75 metres from the southern shore running east to west.
  • The requirement that powerboats and PWCs not engaged in towed sports must slow to 5 knots within 50 metres of another vessel. Only powerboats and PWC’s engaged in towed sports may pass at speeds greater than 5 knots and within 50 metres of another powerboat or PWC engaged in towed sports when safe to do so.
  • The access lane marked by two green buoys and two corresponding shore markers will continue to be located on the southern shore opposite the clubhouse. It will be 25 metres wide and provided only for vessels towing skiers leaving the shore.
  • The requirement that vessels towing water-skiers leaving the shore must give way to skiers returning to the shore. Water-skiers returning to the shore must use the area to the east of the access lane and vessels returning skiers to the southern shore must not exceed 5 knots in the 5 knot zone.
  • The requirement that vessels not engaged in water-skiing shall not pass within 50 metres of the ski jump or slalom course at a speed greater than 5 knots at any time. Vessels engaged in water-skiing may pass within 50 metres of the ski jump and slalom course when skiers are using that equipment and it is safe to do so.

The Bridgewater Lakes Draft Waterway Management Plan (2015) has been developed to

  • inform waterways management for Bridgewater Lakes
  • provide an easily accessible format that will become a common resource for all key stakeholders
  • contribute to the information that manages the risks to visitors undertaking water-based recreational activities
  • outline community information, regulatory signs  and visitor infrastructure at key visitor sites (picnic area, boat ramp and school camp) including

­ waterway safety

­ emergency responsibilities and contacts

­ protection of environmental values

­ maintaining the amenity of the waterway and surrounding areas.

Hard copies of the Bridgewater Lakes Draft Waterway Management Plan are available at the Department of Environment, Land Water and Planning’s Heywood office at 12 Murray Street, Heywood between 8.30 am and 4.30 pm.

Submissions regarding the proposed rule changes can be made in writing to:

  • jacki.mckay@delwp.vic.gov.au, or
  • Manager, Land Planning and Approvals, Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, PO Box 105 Warrnambool VIC 3280

Submissions close 1 December 2017.