Isabella Pond Precinct Improvement Works

The Isabella Pond precinct will undergo significant work during 2017 and 2018. You will soon notice some changes in the area, with three separate improvement projects planned for the waterways and Isabella Pond.

The projects are:

  • Construction of the Isabella Wetlands as part of the ACT Healthy Waterways Project.
  • Widening of Isabella Weir.  
  • A carp management project in Upper Stranger and Isabella Ponds.

All three projects require both Isabella Pond and Upper Stranger Pond to be drained. To minimise impacts on residents and pond users, and only drain the ponds once, the works will happen simultaneously.

Isabella Pond Wetlands Project

The new wetlands will attract birds and other native wildlife and provide more opportunities for recreation and play. They will also play an important role in improving water quality downstream in Lake Tuggeranong, the Murrumbidgee River and the wider Murray-Darling Basin.

The Isabella Wetlands project are part of the  ACT Healthy Waterways Project, a joint initiative of the Australian and ACT governments to invest more than $80 million in the construction of water-quality infrastructure on up to 25 sites across the ACT.

Isabella Weir Upgrade

The ACT Government is funding an upgrade of Isabella Weir to bring it into line with national best practice guidelines and the recently introduced ACT Dam Safety Code.

Carp Management Program

Carp are an introduced freshwater fish and listed as a pest species.

Draining Isabella Pond and Upper Stranger Pond presents an opportunity for the ACT Government to remove the carp and, once the project is complete, restock with native fish. This will restore a more natural environment in the ponds and improve water quality.

Eradicating the carp also allows ecologists to conduct valuable research ahead of the National Carp Control Plan (funded by the Australian Government) which may involve the release of a biocontrol, the carp herpes virus, over the next two to three years.

How these projects will impact you

  • Construction is anticipated to begin in April 2017, with site set-up to start in late March 2017. There will be some minor disruption to traffic (in off-peak times) along Drakeford Drive bridge during site establishment.
  • Draining Isabella Pond and Upper Stranger Pond may also begin late March and will take approximately two weeks (additional time may be required depending on rain). Pumps will be used to drain the water and various options are being considered to keep noise levels to a minimum. Carp will be removed immediately after draining to minimise the possibility of any odour.
  • Upper Stranger Pond will be allowed to refill when carp have been removed, but Isabella Pond will remain empty for approximately 12-18 months to complete the weir and wetland construction.
  • Trucks will pass in and out of the area during the improvement work. Routes have been established to minimise traffic disruption and noise.
  • Detours for walkers and cyclists will be in place and will be clearly signposted. Both ponds will be fenced for public safety during the entire length of the project.
  • The contractor will prepare a Construction Environment Management Plan (CEMP) to detail how it will deal with the flora and fauna issues, and the ACT Government needs to approve the CEMP.

Additional Information

Useful website links

More information and project updates

Keep checking this page for updates, or email