Tributary of Gomersal Creek, west from Tanunda
2011 Aquatic Ecosystem Condition Report
- Dry in autumn and spring 2011
- Likely to be enriched with nutrients when wet due to the surrounding land uses
- Riparian vegetation limited to introduced grasses and a few gum trees
- Fine sediments present in the channel
About the location
This creek is a small, first-order tributary in the Northern Mount Lofty Ranges that flows south into Gomersal Creek, and then the North Para River near Rosedale. The monitoring site was located off Gomersal Road, about 4.5 km west from Tanunda. The major land uses in the 13 hectare catchment are cereal cropping, stock grazing and oil seed production.
The creek was given a Very Poor rating because the site sampled showed evidence of major changes to both the animal and plant life inhabiting the stream, and a significant breakdown in the way the ecosystem functions. There was considerable evidence of human disturbance including highly degraded riparian habitats and the extent of vegetation clearance in the catchment.
The sediments were dominated by detritus and sand, with some clay also present. Samples taken from below the surface were grey in colour and showed no evidence that the sediments were anaerobic or lacking oxygen. A small amount of bank erosion was noted in autumn but was not evident during the spring survey.
No aquatic plants were seen in the channel. The very narrow riparian zone consisted of introduced grasses and a few isolated gum trees. The surrounding vegetation was cropping land with only a few scattered gum trees in the local landscape.
Special environmental features
Pressures and management responses
|Livestock having direct access at the site and upstream (causing sediment erosion and adding excessive nutrients).||The Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges NRM Board’s land management program encourages and promotes managing land to improve water quality. This includes incentives for waterway and wetland fencing to exclude or limit stock from entering riparian zones.|
|Limited riparian zone vegetation at the creek and upstream (reducing habitat quality, increasing sediment erosion).||The Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges NRM Board’s land management program encourages and promotes managing land to improve water quality. This includes incentives for revegetation programs around waterways and wetlands and stock exclusion as well as educating landholders about the importance of riparian vegetation in managing soil erosion.|
This aquatic ecosystem condition report is based on monitoring data collected by the EPA. It was prepared with and co-funded by the Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges NRM Board