A river in recovery
The bushfires of January 2020 left Australia’s second longest river, the Murrumbidgee, thick with ash and silt. Now, its waters are clearer thanks to a community-led effort to restore its health.Read More
Healthy waterways support populations of native wetland grasses and shrubs, aquatic plants, insects, frogs and native fish, as well as supplying fresh water to all other species.
Feral pigs destroy watering points by rooting up vegetation, trampling and wallowing. Cattle, horses and other herbivores also congregate around creeks and watercourses eroding stream banks and damaging native vegetation.
Silting and salting of waterways, caused by over-extraction of water and over-clearing of land, are resolved by adopting a long-term integrated strategy across their catchments.
Restoring the health of these waterways can take years. We’re tackling salt-affected waterways by working with neighbours and in regional partnerships to replant large areas of cleared land, control agricultural run-off and modify local land management techniques.
Fencing pigs and other introduced herbivores out of natural springs and waterways has profound effects on water quality and the health of wetland areas.
At Carnarvon Station Reserve in Queensland many of the springs have been fenced. Water in the springs is once again crystal clear and supporting a flourishing and expanding fringe of native grasses and water plants. Aquatic insects and frogs have returned and birds and small native animals are again drinking clear water.
Ramps erected across the fences allow native animals access to the springs while excluding hard-hooved animals.
Once water tables start to fall on properties affected by salinity, we expect to see an improvement in the quality of the water in the creeks and rivers. This leads to an improvement in the health of the stream-side vegetation and the animals dependent on these ecosystems.
Representatives from conservation groups, NSW and ACT state governments and the community came together in Canberra recently to discuss the future of the upper Murrumbidgee River.Read More
I've just returned after spending 9 days being involved with our volunteers in the Adventurous Paddling Program, which is helping to improve fish habitat in the Murrumbidgee River near Scottsdale Reserve, as part of the Upper Murrumbidgee Demonstration Reach.Read More
We're not talking about surveying a huge Platypus, but about the huge effort Bush Heritage volunteers and Scottsdale Reserve Manager Phil Palmer have put in to support the Upper Murrumbidgee Waterwatch Platypus surveys this year!Read More
All fish monitoring stations in a 90km long fish tracking array in the Upper Murrumbidgee River have now been installed thanks to project staff and some pretty dedicated volunteers. This was no mean feat, as deployment of the monitoring stations required 8-hour long paddles into remote sections of the river to ferry in the equipment, including lengths of railway iron that are used to anchor the monitoring stations in the river.Read More
The carp trapping program at Bush Heritage Australia's Scottsdale Reserve is moving into its next phase, with a small team of inventors on board to design a heating system for the trap. What? Sounds like we are really trying hard to make those pesky carp just a little too comfortable? Perfectly correct!Read More
NSW DPI (Fisheries), working with Bush Heritage Australia at Scottsdale Reserve have now completed their European carp tagging operation. As a result there are 31 'electronically tagged' carp in the upper Murrumbidgee River. Any anglers catching a tagged carp will be given a reward for releasing and reporting the 'catch and release' of the fish.Read More
Six European carp were electronically tagged by NSW Fisheries staff at Scottsdale Reserve last week to help shed light on when and where carp move along the upper Murrumbidgee River. This information is currently a key knowledge gap in the upper Murrumbidgee catchment and is critical for the better management of this pest fish species in upland river systems.Read More
A series of acoustic telemetry receivers have now been deployed in a 20km stretch of the Upper Murrumbidgee River, centered around Bush Heritage Australia's Scottsdale Reserve. This hi tech fish monitoring equipment will be used to track carp and native fish to help threatened fish species management.Read More
There's a very exciting project that was finished at Scottsdale this week! Nearly four years in the planning, design and funding the Gungoandra Creek rock weir and fish way has been successfully constructed over the last three weeks. It's the most significant component of the erosion control plan that volunteer soil consultant Peter Fogarty has helped Scottsdale with.Read More
The upper Murrumbidgee River is home to three nationally listed threatened fish species... highlighted by the recent discovery of a beautiful 93cm Murray cod at Scottsdale Reserve. This fish will be one of the beneficiaries of Scottsdale Reserve's carp trapping program.Read More