Stone Chimney Creek, near Red Banks Conservation Park
2010 Aquatic Ecosystem Condition Report
- Dry in autumn and spring 2010.
- Likely to be enriched with nutrients when wet due to the surrounding land uses in the catchment.
- Riparian vegetation was mostly native trees and shrubs over an understorey of introduced grasses and weeds.
- Moderately eroded banks.
About the location
Stone Chimney Creek is a small stream in the northern Mount Lofty Ranges. It rises east of Burra and drains in an easterly direction through Red Banks Conservation Park before disappearing underground in the Murray mallee. The major land uses are cattle grazing and areas of native vegetation.
The monitoring site was located at the water reserve off Cumba Head Station Road, about two kilometres west of Red Banks Conservation Park.
The creek was given a Fair rating because the site inspected showed moderate changes in ecosystem structure and some changes to the way the ecosystem functions. There was evidence of human disturbance, including degraded riparian habitat and bank erosion.
The four metre wide creek was dry in both autumn and spring 2010. No macroinvertebrate or water quality data were consequently available for this site.
The sediments were dominated by detritus with cobbles, pebbles, silt and clay also present. Samples taken from below the surface showed no indications that the sediments were recently anaerobic. A moderate amount of bank erosion (10-50%) was recorded at the site, caused by stock damage.
No dried patches of filamentous algae were observed and only one emergent aquatic plant, a type of sedge (Cyperus), was recorded growing in the channel and on the banks.
The riparian zone and the surrounding vegetation consisted of introduced grasses and weeds (including thistles and boxthorn), boobialla shrubs (Myoporum) and a canopy of wattles and mallee trees.
Special environmental features
Pressures and management responses
|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 SA Murray–Darling Basin NRM Board acknowledges the significant impacts that livestock have on aquatic environments and seeks to provide free technical advice and incentives to land managers for fencing and other works as funding permits. Funding incentives are limited in value and extent and require land managers to volunteer to be involved.|
|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.|
|Widespread introduced trees and weeds in the riparian zone at the site and upstream in the catchment (reducing habitat quality).||The SA Murray–Darling Basin NRM Board recognises the limitations of available funds relative to the scale of the degradation caused by introduced trees and weeds. The NRM Board provides free technical advice and community education to assist land managers in dealing with the integrated management of aquatic weeds. The NRM Board also has a targeted process, as directed by State Government, to strictly prioritise its investment in weed control activities as funds are limited. The NRM Board actively seeks funding opportunities for weed control; most opportunities are for locations where biodiversity outcomes can be achieved.|