Recreational shooters were in 1994 banned from using lead-based shot in guns when hunting birds on Victorian wetlands. 

Lead is a metal that poses a risk to human health and the environment. Lead shot remains are present in sediment in Victorian wetlands. Sediment refers to particles that settle at the bottom of a body of water. 

Lead is an environmental and human health risk in wetlands because: 

  • it can break down in sediment over time and release lead into the water. Fish and other animals can eat it which places their health at risk 
  • birds of prey can feed on animals that have eaten lead. This risks the health of birds of prey. 

Why the Cairn Curran community had concerns

Community members near Cairn Curran Reservoir had concerns that lead levels may have been high in the reservoir. People use it for recreational activities. For example, fishing and boating.

Community members contacted EPA in 2016 and asked us to report on lead levels in the reservoir

There are no current health or environment risk notices for the Cairn Curran Reservoir. 

Read next

Lead levels in Cairn Curran Reservoir: EPA’s role

Lead levels in Cairn Curran Reservoir: Environmental monitoring and health impacts 

Reviewed 20 April 2023