Weetootla Gorge - Water Monitoring Project

Environmental monitoring in Weetootla Gorge

The dates for this year’s monitoring trips are:

April 10-15 and August 23-27

The group will be accommodated at Balcanoona in the shearing quarters. The monitoring requires participants to be in the field, on foot, for up to 8 hours on three days. The walking involved is quite gentle and largely on, or near, marked walking trails that follow creek lines.

Much of the 8 hours will involve people spending the time at monitoring points.

The monitoring involves:
 Observation on fish numbers and sizes in spring-fed pools
 Measurements of water quality in pools
 Weed assessment and containment
 Assessment of the impact on vegetation of browsing by goats and other animals
 Recording of sightings and signs of yellow-footed rock wallabies and other animals

During the April trip the group will be talking with members of the Nepabunna community about the cultural significance of the park for aboriginal people and about the possibility of their being involved in our group’s activities.

At the time of preparing this newsletter there were five definite participants in the April trip and this will be sufficient to ensure its success. But there is accommodation available for more people who might be interested in coming.

In the long run the viability of this project is going to depend on there being more than one person able to take the lead with each aspect of the project and so all members and interested people are encouraged to consider getting involved. Do not think that it is a project for scientists only. Most of the work, while scientifically based, is quite capable of being done effectively by anyone with a bit of on-the-job training and practice. The five people going on the April trip are keen to provide this training for interested people.

An alternative to environmental monitoring for people coming on the April 10-15 trip (or any later trip) is for them to remain at Balcanoona and do some maintenance work there or nearby.

At the meeting in Pt. Augusta a number of tasks were identified that could be done in this way.

These included:

a) repair of irrigation systems at Balcanoona
b) replanting of trees and shrubs
c) campsite delineation near existing fire pits at Weetootla campground (located a few km from Balcanoona)
d) sanding and oiling of seats and tables at rest stops.


Pre-trip get-together

There is going to be a pre-trip get-together for the April trip and it will be held at Fullarton Park Community Centre, corner of Fullarton Road and Fisher Street, 10 a.m-12 noon, Sunday 11 March.

The purposes of the pre-trip meeting include:

1. people meeting each other for the first time
2. making arrangements for transport, food
3. forming of pairs/groups to work on different aspects of the project
4. first time participants complete forms required by DEWNR
5. opportunity to learn more about what is involved in the monitoring project and the Balcanoona-based tasks listed above.
6. exchange of ideas about keeping the Friends’s group and its projects viable over the longer term.

Whether or not you are a possibility for being involved in the April 10-15 trip you are invited to the pre-trip get-together to be held on 11 March. But if he does not already know that you intend to come please advise Ray Hickman of your intention to do so. Ray’s e-mail address is raywen@bigpond.net.au


Contact is Ray Hickman. Ray’s e-mail address is raywen@bigpond.net.au



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