Emergency or urgent waterway rules

This page contains a list of current emergency waterway closures, emergency operating rules and urgent safety rules on Victorian waterways.

If you are a waterway manager and wish to apply to change a waterway rule, please follow the instructions on the waterway managers' portal.

Lake Learmonth within the City of Ballarat

From 28 October to 28 November 2022

  • all persons, other than members, officers or personnel of Victoria Police, State Emergency Service, Victorian Fisheries Authority, Ballarat City Council and Safe Transport Victoria, and
  • all vessels, other than those operated by Victoria Police, State Emergency Service, Victorian Fisheries Authority, Ballarat City Council and Safe Transport Victoria, and vessels expressly authorised by members, officers or personnel of Victoria Police, State Emergency Service, Victorian Fisheries Authority, Ballarat City Council and Safe Transport Victoria,

are prohibited from entering, or remaining in, the following State waters:

  • The waters of Lake Learmonth within the City of Ballarat

View the Government Gazette Notice S615 in the Victorian Government Gazette

Goulburn River, from 100m upstream & downstream of Chinaman’s Bridge

Between 12.00 am on 31 January 2023 until 12.00 am on 5 March 2023

  • all persons, other than members, officers or personnel of Victoria Police, Victoria State Emergency Service, Victorian Fisheries Authority, Strathbogie Shire Council and Safe Transport Victoria, and
  • all vessels, other than those operated by Victoria Police, Victoria State Emergency Service, Victorian Fisheries Authority, Strathbogie Shire Council and Safe Transport Victoria, and vessels expressly authorised by members, officers or personnel of Victoria Police, Victoria State Emergency Service, Victorian Fisheries Authority, Strathbogie Shire Council and Safe Transport Victoria, from entering, or remaining in, the following State waters:
  • Goulburn River, 100 metres upstream & downstream of Chinamans Bridge

View the Government Gazette Notice S022 on the Victoria Government Gazette website.

Gunbower Creek – Gannawarra Shire

24 November 2022 until 15 December 2022

  • all persons, other than members, officers or personnel of Victoria Police, State Emergency Service, Victorian Fisheries Authority, Gannawarra Shire Council and Safe Transport Victoria, and
  • all vessels, other than those operated by Victoria Police, State Emergency Service, Victorian Fisheries Authority, Gannawarra Shire Council and Safe Transport Victoria, and vessels expressly authorised by members, officers or personnel of Victoria Police, State Emergency Service, Victorian Fisheries Authority, Gannawarra Shire Council and Safe Transport Victoria, from entering, or remaining in, the following State waters:
  • Gunbower Creek – all the waters of Gunbower Creek that are within the Shire of Gannawarra.

View the Government Gazette Number S655 in the Victorian Government Gazette

Lake Boga

Between 30 Nov 2022 to 14 Dec 2022

  • all persons, other than members, officers or personnel of Victoria Police, Victoria State Emergency Service, Victorian Fisheries Authority, Swan Hill Rural City Council, Goulburn Murray Water and Safe Transport Victoria, and
  • all vessels, other than those operated by Victoria Police, Victoria State Emergency Service, Victorian Fisheries Authority, Swan Hill Rural City Council, Goulburn Murray Water and Safe Transport Victoria, and vessels expressly authorised by members, officers or personnel of Victoria Police, Victoria State Emergency Service, Victorian Fisheries Authority, Swan Hill Rural City Council, Goulburn Murray Water and Safe Transport Victoria, from entering, or remaining in, the following State waters:
  • Lake Boga.
  • View the Government Gazette Number S661 in the Victorian Government Gazette

Greens Lake – near Corop

Until further notice

The waters of Greens Lake (near Corop), excluding the areas prohibited to vessels, are subject to
a 5-knot speed restriction when the water level of the lake is at 100.0 m AHD or less.

This urgent safety rule is published in the Victoria Government Gazette No. S 512 Friday 17 September 2021

Lake Eppalock – Randells Cove, Strath Cove

Until further notice

The waterway rules as detailed in Schedule 49, Lake Eppalock, Clause 49.6 and 49.2(b)(i) as published in the Victoria Government Gazette, S221 on 28 June 2012 are temporarily revoked for the term of this Urgent Safety Rule.

This urgent safety rule is published in the Victoria Government Gazette No. S 696 Thursday 24 December 2020

Map of restricted area

Map showing location of points

Lake Eppalock – Metcalfe Pool

Until further notice

A 5 knot speed restriction applies to the waters of Lake Eppalock upstream of The Strait including Metcalfe Pool and Madden Reach when the water level is 185.0 AHD or less.

This urgent safety rule is published in the Victoria Government Gazette No. G 45 Thursday 7 November 2019

Ouyen Lake

Until further notice

The new lake opened to boaters on 6 October 2019.

This urgent safety rule is published in the Victoria Government Gazette No. S 403 Thursday 3 October 2019

Goulburn River at Nagambie

Until further notice

The waters of Goulburn River beneath Chinamans Bridge and immediately upstream and downstream of the bridge as marked by lines of yellow buoys are prohibited to vessels, excluding Span 6 of the bridge that remains open for vessels to transit under the bridge.

This urgent safety rule is published in the Victoria Government Gazette No. S 536 Monday 12 November 2018

Barwon River, Geelong

18 November to 17 December 2022

  • View the Notice of exclusion zone with the following link to the new Gazette Notice

Lake Meran

30 November to 15 December

Weather and flood warnings

The most common reason for emergency waterway closures or restrictions is a flood event.

Use the Boating Vic website or app to view location-specific notifications, as well as weather conditions and warnings, alongside boat ramp details.

Waterway managers have the power to close waterways in such events to ensure the safety of waterway users. Contact the relevant waterway manager for more information about the waterway you intend to visit.

You can also view Bureau of Meteorology weather warnings and Vic Emergency incidents and warnings – which includes flood and blue-green algae alerts.

Vessels Prohibited buoy on a lake

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