News and announcements
There is currently a blue-green algae warning for Kow Swamp. Click here for more information.
Land and On-Water - Get Involved
The Kow Swamp Land and On-Water Management Plan is now available at our L&OWMP page.
If you would like to be informed of any changes or updates to the Kow Swamp Land and On-Water Management Plan, you can provide your details here.
About Kow Swamp
Kow Swamp is a large water storage with a circumference of 15 kilometres and a capacity of 50,910 megalitres. It is located 3km south of Leitchville and 6 kms from Gunbower and is in the Shire of Campaspe. Mount Hope overlooks Kow Swamp.
In earlier years Kow Swamp was operated as an off river storage by an amalgamation of Irrigation Trusts and in 1900 the full supply level of the swamp was increased to that level used today.
The completion of the Torrumbarry Weir in 1923 together with the construction of the National Channel headworks provided an assured gravity supply to Kow Swamp and the rest of the system. Major remodelling of the natural carrier system was carried out in the 1960’s lowering the running level of the Pyramid Creek from Kow Swamp to Kerang Weir.
Kow Swamp remains of the Pleistocene epoch aboriginal population are re-dated to more than 20,000 years old.
The Kow Swamp remains are the world’s largest single population of human remains from the late Pleistocene era (120,000–10,000 years).
Kow Swamp’s name comes from the Aboriginal word Ghow which describes the white gypsum soil found at Kow Swamp.
Kow Swamp is an integral part of the Torrumbarry System, it allows water to be stored for use during periods of high demand, thus providing a better level of service to G-MW customers and avoiding periods of rationing during these times.
Kow Swamp and Kangaroo Lake, with a total of 27,000 megalitres of useable storage, are used as in-system storage to overcome the long delay in receiving water from Lake Hume. Kow Swamp is used to supply the system on three to four day notification from customers. When the water arrives from Hume, Kow Swamp and Kangaroo Lake are then replenished.
In the investigation stage of the off river storage project, which originally began as the Lake Boga Storage Project, it quickly became apparent that Lake Boga alone was not going to provide enough storage. Further studies then included Kangaroo Lake and then Lake Charm and it became the Mid Murray Storage Project. It then was a natural progression to include Kow Swamp as the project was renamed the Victorian Mid Murray Storages.
The operation of Kow Swamp will be virtually unchanged by its inclusion into the Victoria Mid Murray Storages.
Land and On-Water Management Plan
Land and On-Water Management Plans will guide how G-MW and other agencies manage activities, facilities and development on and around water storages. The Plans focus on cultural, recreational, environmental and water quality management issues at water storages but are not designed to make recommendations on storage operations – such as water levels and releases.
In the future a Land and On-Water Management Plan will be produced for Kow Swamp.
Recreation and Tourism at Kow Swamp
Large Grassed Area
Please observe all signs and directions around our storages for information on recreational activities. Refer to the Land and On-Water Management Plan (if provided above) for detailed information on the facilities available.
Kow Swamp is a popular fishing spot although it has dense tree cover and snags and requires careful boating. Bank fishing at the inlet channel is popular also.
Caravan Parks, Camping Grounds and Accommodation
For information on local camping grounds, caravan parks and accommodation, please contact the local tourist information centre.