There are two dolphins that regularly travel in and out of the Patawalonga Lake: adult female named Lartelare and her calf June, born in 2015.
Dolphins are able to enter and exit the Patawalonga (the ‘Pat’) – when the water gates are open or when a boat uses the adjacent lock.
Sometimes the dolphins become trapped in the boat lock if they enter the lock from the opposite direction the boat is travelling. If this happens, we ask people to please call the lock number (08) 8406 2600 so that the dolphins can be released from the boat lock either back into the Pat or back out to the open sea.
The dolphins in the Pat face similar threats from humans that other wild dolphins face, such as harassment, being fed, fishing line entanglements, boat strike and effects of pollution. In the Pat, the danger of these threats may be increased because the dolphins are in a more confined area.
If you are in a boat, kayak or other watercraft please do not chase and approach the dolphins. In South Australia it is illegal to approach within 50m of a dolphin and 150m of a mother and her calf or a dolphin that is sick or injured. It is important the dolphins have the opportunity to rest and feed.
If you are fishing please reel in your lines if dolphins are nearby and dispose of all unwanted line and rubbish properly. Fishing line and other discarded rubbish can kill or cause serious injury to dolphins and other wildlife.
Please never feed the dolphins. Feeding wild dolphins is incredibly harmful for them. It alters their behaviour and causes them to hang around boats and areas where people are fishing. This increases the likelihood of them being hit by a boat, caught in fishing line or deliberately harmed. It is illegal to feed wild dolphins.