Thursday, 20 July 2017

Chenopods and more

You can't really avoid Port Augusta when you're traversing the southern part of the continent but it's worth stopping and spending some time exploring.

It's right at the head of Spencer Gulf and Matthew Flinders wasn't impressed with the area when he was here in 1801. "No person shall have occasion to come after me to make further discoveries" he wrote to Banks.

But I was impressed. The saltbush and other chenopod species cover the plains, interspersed with daisies, grasses and other interesting plants. Mangroves line the banks and as a backdrop the light changes the colour of the Southern Flinders continually.

The head of Spencer Gulf, Port Augusta

A long train moving south

Cemetery in the saltbush, Port Augusta West

Cemetery in the saltbush, Port Augusta West

Grey (White) Mangroves on the gulf

Arid Botanic Gardens, Port Augusta

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

A win for Black Box

In 2011 the Murray River at Loxton in South Australia broke its banks and flooded the 14 hectare Riverfront Reserve below the town. It proved to be just what the doctor ordered for the native vegetation in the reserve and hundreds of Black Box eucalypt seedlings appeared. In order to increase the chance of survival of the seedlings and other plants 100 megalitres of Commonwealth environmental water has been delivered by sprinklers in 2013 and 2015.

Loxton, SA
Black Box seedlings growing well at Loxton.
There is a very well maintained walking track through the reserve that appears to be well used by locals and visitors, with great views of the Murray River as a bonus.

It will be interesting to see how the trees grow and mature.

Saturday, 15 July 2017

A win win for the fish

Kow Swamp
In 2015 I wrote a blog about the dredging of creeks in northern Victoria in the past. I included a photo that my father-in-law took that shows a dredger at work.

Several months ago I was contacted by Peter, an employee of the catchment management authority, asking permission to use the photo on an information board that was being installed at Box Bridge (on Box Creek) at Kow Swamp.

We've been to have a look at what they've done near the bridge and it's very interesting.

Box Bridge location [Google Maps]

They've installed a lock for fish. Apparently it operates just like a lock for boats – the fish swim in, the gate is closed behind them, the water level rises and the fish swim out the other side into Kow Swamp. I'm a bit confused about how it actually works but it looks very impressive and I'm sure it will be effective. Obstacles such as weirs have been obstacles preventing fish migration in the past.

Fish locks, Box Bridge

Box Bridge and locks
They've also resnagged the rivers in quite a few spots. The dredging process in the past removed all the old fallen timber snags that were using as resting shelters, feeding sites and breeding shelters by fish moving up and down the rivers. 

It's a win win for the fish. They can move up and down the rivers and they have shelters and food along the way.

New information board at Box Bridge.
Resnagging site. Numerous large logs have been placed in the creeks.
A bonus of our visit to Box Bridge was the view of Mt Hope to the south. We must go and have a look one day.

Mt Hope


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