Goulburn-Murray Water (GMW) is advising the public to do the right thing at Lake Tutchewop as trespassers and vandals continue to cause cultural and environmental damage.
Lake Tutchewop, near Kerang, is a Ramsar-listed wetland of international significance, operated as a drainage basin system for the Barr Creek Drainage Diversion Scheme.
GMW Storage Operations North manager David Irvine said there had been multiple instances of vandalism and trespass over the years, which increased during the warmer weather and holidays.
“This is significant damage to what is a sensitive environmental and cultural heritage area,” Mr Irvine said.
“Fences, locks and chains have been cut to gain access, while gates and warning/restricted access signage have been damaged or removed.
“There have also been civil alterations to the area, such as earthen jumps and berms constructed.
“Vehicles driving and riding around the area also caused damage, erosion and vegetation removal.”
While people can access the area by foot for bird watching and bushwalking, unauthorised vehicles are not permitted.
Mr Irvine said the damage to assets was costly as fences, gates and signage needed to be repaired. As such, GMW will increase its monitoring of the area to assess asset damage.
“Reports have also been made with Victoria Police and police patrols will increase, particularly on weekends and holidays,” Mr Irvine said.
Anyone who witnesses criminal behaviour in the area is advised to contact their local police.