TOURISM at Horsham’s Green Lake, Taylors Lake and the Wimmera River injected more than $8.4 million into the city’s economy in 2016-17.
A Wimmera Development Association study into the economic value of recreational water found that almost 75,000 people visited the Wimmera River at Horsham last year.
The study looked at how much money the region’s lakes and rivers contribute to the economy, how many people visit each waterway and the benefits recreational water has on physical and mental health.
The study found that the number of day users at the Wimmera River at Horsham is the greatest of all recreational waterways in the Wimmera and southern Mallee.
Major events at the river include the Horsham Fishing Competition in March and the Great Wimmera River Duck Race in November.
Other major recreational lakes in Horsham Rural City include Green Lake and Taylors Lake.
The report said Green Lake was popular for fishing, swimming, boating and windsurfing.
The lake boosted the region’s economy by $252,743 in 2016-17.
Green Lake Action Group spokesman Russell Peucker said the water level was excellent at the moment.
“It’s just sensational,” he said. “There has been a trickle of water going in there for some time.”
Mr Peucker said the lake bought visitors from all over the region.
“It’s a safe lake for water sports,” he said.
“People come from everywhere and it creates a real boom.
“It is close to so many people too, it would easily service 20,000 to 30,0000 people.
“Being on the highway, many people stop there on their way past. With the AFL grand final at the weekend, people will be travelling from Adelaide to Melbourne, so I would expect lots of people will use it as a stopping point.”
The study states that Taylors Lake supplies environmental water to the Wimmera River, and is popular with Horsham residents for recreation, especially fishing and water skiing.
“When other lakes are dry, Taylors Lake will often still have water to enjoy,” the report said. About 2000 visitors stayed overnight at the lake in 2016-17, which contributed $218,614 to the economy.
St Helen’s Plains farmer Keith Fischer, who lives 200 metres from Taylors Lake, said people would visit the area from all over Australia.
“In summer, lots of people come and stay overnight at the lake, near the toilet block,” he said.
“At the moment it’s about 97 per cent full and it’s looking fantastic. It will be great for summer.”