Morambro Creek, southeast from Padthaway
2009 Aquatic Ecosystem Condition Report
- Dry in autumn and spring 2009.
- Likely to be nutrient enriched when wet due to the surrounding land uses.
- Riparian vegetation consists of a narrow band of River Red Gums over introduced grasses.
- Some minor bank erosion.
About the location
Morambro Creek is a large stream in the lower South East with a catchment area over 500 km2 . It rises in western Victoria and flows in a westerly direction where it ultimately discharges into the Marcollat Watercourse, about 10 kilometres west of Padthaway. The major land uses are cropping and grazing, with smaller areas of remnant native vegetation and vines present in the catchment.
The monitoring site was located near the gauge station towards the junction of the Bordertown Road and an unnamed road to Frances, about 19 kilometres south-east of Padthaway.
The creek was given a Fair rating because the site sampled showed moderate changes in ecosystem structure and some changes to the way the ecosystem functions. There was evidence of human disturbance, including the poor condition of the riparian habitat and signs of bank erosion.
The creek was dry in autumn and spring 2009, so macroinvertebrate and water quality data were not available for this site.
The sediments were dominated by detritus, sand and silt; samples taken from below the surface were aerobic and not blackened, however, they could become anaerobic when wet due to the high organic content of the sediments. Nearly 10 metres of the bank showed signs of erosion, presumably due to flood damage in the recent past.
Patches of small spikerush (Eleocharis) and sedge (Isolepis) were growing in the channel and on the water’s edge.
The narrow riparian zone consisted of River Red Gums lining the banks of the creek over introduced grasses. The surrounding vegetation at the site was River Red Gum woodland over introduced grasses.
Special environmental features
Pressures and management responses
|Drought||Through ground and surface water allocation planning and the South East Regional NRM Plan water affecting activity permit process the NRM Board seeks to manage water for environmental, social and economic purposes in a range of climatic scenarios.|
|Livestock have direct access at the site and upstream, causing sediment erosion and adding excessive nutrients (which leads to habitat disturbance, algal growth and aquatic weeds).||The South East NRM Board supports targeted projects that provide opportunities for landholders to access grants for fencing for stock exclusion from time to time for priority catchments.|
|Limited riparian zone vegetation at the site and upstream, providing minimal buffer protection from catchment landuses (reducing habitat quality).||The South East NRM Board assists landholders to access targeted grant opportunities for revegetation and ecosystem protection when funding is available. The Board also works closely with landholders consistent with the Board’s Regional Pest Management Plan to control weeds on their property and to assist in halting their spread to other properties.|