In the alpine region, water from the Snowy River and its tributaries is captured and regulated in a complex system of dams, tunnels, pumping stations and aqueducts as part of the Snowy Mountains Scheme.
Below the Jindabyne Dam, the river descends through the Beloka Gorge and the Monaro Tableland before entering a mountainous region that includes the Snowy River Gorge and extends for over 200 kilometres. The river emerges on to the floodplain at Jarrahmond north of Orbost, before flowing into Bass Strait at Marlo.
Important wetlands on the lower Snowy River include the estuary of the Snowy River and the Lower Snowy River Wetlands, which include Lake Corringle, Lake Wat Wat, Lake Curlip, and Cabbage Tree Lagoon. There are also numerous other small wetlands on the floodplains of the Snowy River and Brodribb River (which enters the estuary at Marlo). These high-value wetlands are recognised in the Directory of Important Wetlands.
The Snowy River estuary at Marlo is subject to periodic closure resulting from variations in river flows and climatic patterns.
The Snowy floodplain is an important economic asset, with land used for irrigated horticulture, dairy, fodder production, beef cattle fattening, crop and seed production and aquaculture. The river downstream from Orbost and the estuary at Marlo are also significant recreational assets for boating, fishing and camping.
Lower Snowy River