Sunday, 18 January 2015

Pyramid Creek

I've been scanning my husband's family slides. The photos from the fifties and sixties, even the seventies, haven't seen the light of day for many years and the next generation found my digital slide shows during our holiday after Christmas very amusing. Haircuts, clothes, pets, toys, cars, bicycles, holiday snaps, houses, children aging through each successive box of slides, photos of relatives when they were young, photos of relatives when they were alive   - all fascinating to me because I am a family historian, all still fresh in the memories of my 90-year-old in-laws.

And this one. It was probably taken at Mead in the sixties when Pyramid Creek was dredged from Kow Swamp to where it enters the Loddon River.

Dredge working on Pyramid Creek
Flood mitigation seems to have been the main purpose. Do you remember seeing photos from several years ago when floods surrounded the town of Kerang in northern Victoria. Levee banks saved the town but the floods covered hectares of farmland. The water took a long time to drain into the Murray because the land is so flat.

I found this report on the Parliament of Victoria's website. It's called Inquiry into flood mitigation infrastructure in Victoria 2011. One witness stated:
The reorganisation of the Torrumbarry system was completed in 1969-70 with the dredging of the Pyramid Creek from Kow Swamp to the Kerang Lakes. This enabled flows released from Kow Swamp to reach the Kerang Weir pool in 36 hours instead of 3½ days. Throughout the 1990s all streams, creeks and low-lying areas that carried occasional water were cleaned by dredging.
Were there any protests at the time? Did everyone agree with the process? Didn't anyone think about the creatures and plants that lived in the waterways? And the floods weren't mitigated so was it all for nothing?

Maybe there has been a rethink. In the August 2014 edition of the DEPI newsletter Fish-e-fax I found this:
Thanks to $60 000 of funding from recreational fishing revenue, fish habitat in Pyramid Creek is set to be improved. Snag piles will be placed into the creek by the North Central CMA to provide native fish with shelter from fast currents, refuge from predators and sites for feeding and spawning. The project will help the waterway become a key pathway during fish migration and will boost the permanent population of native fish.

1 comment:

Denis Wilson said...

Nice post. It shows how what was once thought to be an improvement is now realised to be a backward step.
We need ot keep on learning.