Bethungra Dam and Reserve is listed in the ‘Directory of Important Wetlands in Australia’. The scenic public recreation area accommodates canoeing, sailing, picnics, swimming and fishing. Camping facilities, toilets, BBQ’s and bins. Access is via Bethungra Waterworks Road.
Originally constructed in 1895 as a water supply dam to service Junee, this dam is located in the north east sector of Junee Shire, just north of Ulandra Nature Reserve. It continued to be used as a public water supply until about 1906, when water quality problems led to its disuse.
The dam covers an area of 14.65 hectares and holds 600 megalitres of water. It is on Crown Land and is managed by Junee Shire Council. Much of the land surrounding the dam is privately owned, while the remainder is leased for agricultural purposes.
In 1993, the first formally identified blue green algae bloom was recorded in the dam. This led to its closure for recreational purposes. In 2000 a small outbreak of blue green algae was recorded in the Dam. Several fish perished in this event and once again all recreation activities were forced to cease. One possible theory for the blue green algae blooms in the dam is the likely run-off of excess phosphates and nitrates from pasture and crop fertilisation. These compounds, particularly phosphates, build up in the soil over a period of decades until they reach a critical point after which the soil can no longer retain them. They are then leached out in run-off, to watercourses and the dam.
The “Bethungra Reserve Plan of Management”, 1989 lists flora and fauna observed or expected to occur on Bethungra Reserve.
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