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LILLYDALE Lake has returned to normal levels after claims it was needlessly drained.
Melbourne Water and Yarra Ranges Council worked together to drain the lake in May in a bid to combat the invasive weed Egeria densa. Water was not expected to return to the lake until August.
The move prompted councillor Len Cox, who walks around the lake every day, to query the timeframe as there was "no weed there at all".
"The evidence just wasn't there to suggest there was any weed," he said.
Given Lilydale was a popular tourist area, he said having the unsightly drained lake was not a good look, particularly if it was deemed unnecessary.
Melbourne Water maintained draining the lake was still beneficial but admitted "the weed infestation was significantly less than expected".
The water authority said it had drained the lake at the request of Yarra Ranges Council, "who had been contacted by residents concerned that the weed was restricting recreation in the lake".
Melbourne Water acting waterways manager for the north east Kate Nagato said the limited amount of weed found was a positive outcome "as the weed out-competes native aquatic vegetation and affects recreational use of the lake".
She said that while water levels were down they took the opportunity to do some minor repairs on the lake's outlet structure. The work finished on June 29.
The lake is now at full capacity due to heavy rainfall over that weekend and the first few days of July.
Keen fisherman who frequent the lake have posted comments at fishing-victoria.com about their disappointment at the lake being drained. "I can't ever see it being the lake that it was before the drain out," one forum user said.
"The few Rainbows that they will stock it with, it's going to take more than my lifetime for the lake to catch back up to where it was once."
Another writer agreed: "Yes, was disappointed myself. Guess the council had no options and had to get the weed under control, but even if they restock it once it refills, I agree it will take years before it is back to fishing well again."
Ms Nagato said future control of this weed would not be required for a number of years.