Lake Gkula Conservation and Recreation Habitat

Lake Gkula, a conservation and recreation water body, is chemical free and uses all-natural wetland filtration systems that deliver a safe habitat for wildlife and people alike.

The lake is abundant with fish and plant life with more than 16 species of native fish and crustaceans and over 8,000 plants, including native water lilies. The up-flow wetland filtration system creates habitat for beneficial bacteria and microorganisms, which create healthy stable conditions and keep pathogens at bay.

Powerful pumps and nanobubble technology, maintain a constant water flow and high levels of oxygen, directing it through the wetlands, which purify the water like kidneys.

To maintain the ecology of the lake, all bathers will need to remove any chemicals  (i.e. sunscreen, cosmetics, wound treatments) unless they are approved low oil, zinc-based products.

Aquatic plants

(macrophytes), are the primary producers converting the sun’s energy into carbohydrates, feeding all species either directly or indirectly, providing important shelter and breeding habitat, for all aquatic wildlife and microorganisms. Macrophytes are either emergent (rooted in sediment with their leaves out of the water), submergent (growing fully underwater), or free-floating (not rooted – extracting nutrients directly from water). Additionally, broad-leaved herbs and shrubs can grow on the margins of wetlands; while grasses, rushes and sedges can grow in the water and on the margins of the lake

Invertebrates

include insects, spiders and crustaceans such as yabbies. They constitute the most abundant and diverse group of animals.

These creatures connect primary producers – plants and algae, to the higher
consumers such as fish and birds. While some predate on other invertebrates, fish and frog larvae, others are an important food source for fish, waterbird, frogs and lizards. Invertebrates also regulate algal blooms, cane toad and mosquito larvae, and remove decomposing organic matter improving water clarity.

Fish

regulate the stability, resilience and food web dynamics. They are a valuable food source for birds and reptiles, while some fish are key predators.

Fish mineralise and move nitrogen and phosphorus through excretion and defecation, influencing nutrient availability and mediating carbon flux between the lake and the atmosphere. Algae eating fish maintain algal communities and enhanced food availability for filtering animals.

Frogs

are both predators and prey. Tadpoles feed on algae, keeping the water clear. They are ecosystem engineers by disturbing sediments, changing the dynamics of biological and chemical processes of water, moderating nutrient
cycling and flow, and transferring nutrients between aquatic and terrestrial
ecosystems. Adult frogs feed on insects and their larvae, keeping populations in balance, they are an important food source for fish, snakes and birds.

Reptiles

 

fill a critical role both as predators and prey.

Top  predators such as snakes, provide biological control of invasive species,but are also a  valuable food source as eggs or while young. Turtles can be herbivorous,
omnivorous or carnivorous, ranging from specialist feeders to generalists.

Their diverse feeding habits influence the structure of other communities, playing an
important role in nutrient cycling and seed dispersal.

Waterbirds

play key functional roles in many aquatic ecosystems as predators, herbivores and vectors of seeds, invertebrates and nutrients. Most visit several locations and can carry various species with them, increasing biodiversity. Waterbirds are important in lake ecosystems feeding on vegetation, invertebrates, frogs, fish and even small mammals, keeping populations in balance.