Gould Creek, Macclesfield
2008 Aquatic Ecosystem Condition Report
- Affected by nutrient enrichment and fine sediment.
- Extensive algal growths.
- Limited riparian zone although revegetation work being done.
- Site dry at time of inspection in spring 2008.
About the location
Also known as Doctor’s Creek, Gould Creek rises about four kilometres north of Macclesfield in the southern Mount Lofty Ranges. It flows south through mainly agricultural land used for livestock grazing (68%) and dairying (19%) to join the Angas River northwest of Strathalbyn. The site selected for monitoring was located off Macclesfield Road (also called Aldgate–Strathalbyn Road), about four kilometres southeast of Macclesfield.
The creek was given a Fair rating at this site because the ecosystem had moderate changes to animal and plant life, and some changes to the way the ecosystem functions. The riparian zone was disturbed, and evidence confirmed nutrient enrichment and excessive deposits of fine sediment had affected the condition of the site. The creek may have rated poorer if water had been present.
The creek was a narrow channel, only recently dried up, when inspected in November 2008. The creek bed was made up mostly of grey and blackened silt, with rocks which were blackened underneath, indicating the sediments were sulfidic and anaerobic.
Non-aquatic plants were growing in the channel as well as patches of aquatic plants such as Water Ribbons (Triglochin), Spikerush (Eleocharis) and Narrow-leafed Cumbungi (Typha domingensis). Green filamentous algae (Cladophora) covered up to 35% of the channel.
A few River Red Gums were growing in the riparian zone, which was less than five metres wide and lacked any trees or shrubs in some sections. Acacias had recently been planted in the area, which was also covered with oats (Avena). Further afield, the landscape was mostly cereal crops with scattered gum trees.
Special environmental features
Pressures and management responses
|Limited riparian vegetation at the site and upstream, providing minimal buffer protection from catchment landuses (reducing habitat quality).||The SA Murray–Darling Basin NRM Board recognises that the management of riparian vegetation requires a long-term, integrated approach to achieve ecosystem benefits. The board therefore provides free technical advice on a range of topics for land managers and various incentives for works as funding permits.|
|Insufficient natural water flows resulting from water extraction and climate variability (reducing ecological integrity.||The SA Murray–Darling Basin NRM Board is working with the Department for Water and the community to develop a water allocation plan and licensing system which aim to balance social, economic and environmental needs for water. The objective for providing water to the environment is to maintain and/or restore self-sustaining water-dependent ecosystems which are resilient in times of drought.|
|Large nutrient inputs from numerous diffuse sources in the catchment (leading to extensive growth of algae and aquatic weeds).||The SA Murray–Darling Basin NRM Board’s Land Management Program provides free technical advice and education to land managers to minimise fertiliser, manure, or effluent sources of nutrients. The NRM Board also works closely with local government and developers to pursue industry best practice and manage sediment loads entering waterways. The water Allocation Planning and Water Affecting Activities policies of the NRM Board also seek to minimise nutrient inputs and allow for natural flows to dilute naturally occurring nutrient loads in waterways.|