Timelines - our history
Photographs of key moments
Taken by James Manifold this photo is of the Manifold and Martin children enjoying their home made raft on Yatco Lagoon in 1979.
More historical photos?
A brief history of Yatco Lagoon by Jeff Drogemuller - download it here.
Early European settlers
(From Section 2.7.5 of the Wetland Management Plan)
“The first European settlers arrived in Moorook in 1894 on the paddle steamer 'Gem'. They formed a village settlement to grow produce for them to live on and any excess was sold and sent via paddlesteamer to Morgan then by train to Adelaide.
The first pumping station was established about 200 metres south of the start of Yatco Lagoon. To sustain water for irrigation in pre-lock times during drought conditions, a stone levy bank was built across the entrance to Yatco to hold back water for their crops that needed irrigation.
Dry land farmers arrived in 1895 and settled south of Moorook. They used the southern end of the lagoon in a similar way. In drought years, as the lagoon receded, they planted fodder (that is, sorghum) in the fertile mud and would harvest it for hay and chaff to feed their stock. They considered Yatco Lagoon a valuable resource to sustain farming in the area.
In good river flow years wild horses were trapped and yarded in the peninsular between Yatco lagoon and the River Murray. The horses were broken in and sold to the Australian Army - this is just another way to show the resilience of the first settlers. (Jeff Drogemuller, 2008)"
Map showing key historical locations - download it - click on the map below.
Timeline of critical events that
The paddle steamer P.S. Gem delivers twenty Adelaide families by river to
Jeff Drogemuller’s great grandfather Fred Drogemuller travels from
1906 Jeff Drogemuller’s grandfather builds a third stone home on Yatco Lagoon.
1912 Traugott Tschirpig establishes a stone residence overlooking Yatco Lagoon
1915 Windmills were used to pump water from Yatco Lagoon up to the surrounding farms.
The completion of Lock and weir No.3 at Overland Corner creates a permanent
Red Gums within and around Yatco Lagoon start to die from permanent
The great flood of 1956 threatens properties at Moorook and Y.M.Johnny Gurr
Johnny Gurr commences digging “The Channel” from the river to the south
The Channel creates opportunity for extensive development of irrigated
The first crops grown off the The Channel include tomatoes, peas, rockmelons,
Phillip and Maria Martin move from Mount Compass to the old Tschirpig
1977 Martins establish a sunflower crop on the eastern shore of south lagoon.
George and Florence Burdon are the first Riverland irrigators to establish
1985 Martins construct two holiday cabins overlooking the south lagoon.
The Stasinowsky family purchases floodplain land surrounding and including
Yatco Irrigators participate in the RiverCare Irrigation Management Program
The commencement of an 18 year period when river flows did not exceed 80,000
2001 The commencement of a decade where river flows did not exceed 50,000 ML/day.
Burdons and Drogemullers relocate their pumps to the river when salinity
levels in the
Consulting firm SKM complete a baseline survey of the biophysical features
The drought reduces South Australia’s entitlement flow and irrigators are
The Loxton to Bookpurnong Local Action Planning Group commences a Land and
The LWMP Reference Group visit Banrock Station to discuss the benefits of
2006 The Yatco Wetland Landcare Group formed in December 2006.
The State Government Minister for the River Murray announces in March 2007
The Yatco Wetland Landcare Group is formed and sets 3 key objectives (see
Nippy’s Fruit Juices and Banrock Station Wines provide sponsorship to engage
The Yatco Lagoon embankment commences construction across the narrow outlet
The Yatco Wetland Management Plan adopts the Vision described by Jeff
The Federal Government announces a $3.3 million package to relocate Yatco
2008 Yatco Lagoon embankment is completed in January 2008.
Yatco Lagoon disconnected from the River Murray in January 2008 and remained
Highly saline groundwater (85,000 EC) observed seeping into the north lagoon
2008 The first complete drying of Yatco Lagoon since Lock 3 was constructed in 1925.
The first new red gum seedlings observed germinating in the drying shoreline
The new Federal Government seeks review of the Yatco irrigators pump
provided by the Loxton to Bookpurnong LAP allowed Dr Ivor Stuart (Kingfisher
2009 Refilling of Yatco Lagoon produces dramatic changes in water quality and the
2009 Yatco Wetland Management Plan is completed in September 2009.
2010 to 2012
The first high river in a decade completely inundates the Yatco Lagoon
2011 to 1012
Tenders are invited to construct new pipelines and pumps to enable The
Photographs of key moments
Late 2007 - Construction of the earthen embankment to allow drying out of the wetland.
Earthen embankment completed and wetland drying
underway (at right)
Inspection of regulator
2008 - New red gums on the floodplain
Refilling in 2009