Eyre Creek, near Watervale
2008 Aquatic Ecosystem Condition Report
- Small ephemeral stream with no sign of recent flow when site was sampled.
- Weeds growing in channel.
- Limited riparian zone dominated by introduced trees, woody and herbaceous weeds.
- Site dry at time of inspection in spring 2008.
About the location
Eyre Creek is a very small stream which flows only occasionally in the Mid North of the state. The creek rises east of Mount Horrocks and drains south through Watervale and Leasingham before entering the Wakefield River just north of Auburn in the Clare Valley. Vineyards and irrigation are major land uses in the catchment, with smaller areas of cropping, livestock grazing and urban development. The site selected for monitoring was located off Cemetery Road, about one kilometre south of Watervale.
The creek was given a Fair rating at this site because the ecosystem showed evidence of moderate changes to animal and plant life, and some changes to the way the ecosystem functions. While the stream was too dry to provide a clear assessment of condition, the creek was given a fair rating because it is likely that some nutrient enrichment would occur when the creek is flowing, given the surrounding land uses. The high degree of dam development further upstream may also contribute towards the limited flow patterns in this creek.
There was no evidence of recent flows when the dry, narrow channel was inspected in November 2008. Non-aquatic weeds such as ryegrass, Salvation Jane and soursobs were growing in the channel, with only small patches of native aquatic plants such as Common Reed (Phragmites australis) and sedge (Bolboschoenus caldwellii).
Exotic trees and weeds such as Desert Ash, phalaris, broom, fennel, barley grass and soursobs dominated the riparian zone, which extended up to 40 metres from the creek’s edge. Beyond that were planted vines with introduced grasses and small remnant patches of River Red Gums.
Special environmental features
Pressures and management responses
|Extensive introduced trees and weed growth in the riparian zone at the site and upstream (causing habitat disturbance).||A review of the River Management Plan for the Wakefield Catchment by the Northern and Yorke NRM Board is currently underway.|
|Extensive aquatic weed growth (reducing ecological integrity).|
|Large decrease in natural water flows (reducing ecological integrity).|