Work is about to start on a 500m section of channel between the Murrumbidgee / Eucumbene tunnel outlet and the Eucumbene river at Providence Portal, to improve safety and environmental outcomes downstream.

This section of channel is designed to sit below the Lake Eucumbene full supply level, but due to the current lake levels, it has been exposed, resulting in some unstable banks. As a short-term measure, the area has been fenced off.

Improvement works have been designed and funded to address the instability, according to Snowy Hydro area manager Kent Allen.

“The banks of the channel would benefit from ‘laying back’ and armouring with local rock material to address these concerns. This work is also expected to improve water quality outcomes downstream,” said Mr Allen.

The work is being carried out for Snowy Hydro by Leed Engineering and Construction and is due to commence in late March so it can be finished prior to winter.

“Snowy Hydro regrets any short-term impacts to people who use this small section of channel. This can be a busy time of the year for fishing and camping. However, the works are not expected to impact anyone who is fishing upstream of the Portal on the Eucumbene River or visiting the wider Eucumbene foreshore area,” said Mr Allen. “The long-term benefits of these improvement works will result in a much safer and improved foreshore experience for people visiting this area of Lake Eucumbene.”

The works are being carried out in close consultation with the local trout fishing advocacy group, the Monaro Acclimatisation Society. MAS spokesman Steve Samuels said the works should improve conditions downstream for trout breeding and fishing, which are an important economic driver for the region.

The work is expected to be completed by 30 April 2021.