Tributary of Jacob Creek, 4 km south from Tanunda
2011 Aquatic Ecosystem Condition Report
- Dry in autumn and spring 2011
- Likely to be enriched with nutrients when wet due to the extent of sheep grazing in the catchment
- No buffering features to protect the stream from surrounding land uses
- Riparian vegetation dominated by sedges and introduced grasses and weeds
About the location
This creek is a small tributary in the Southern Mount Lofty Ranges that rises west from Kaiserstuhl Conservation Park and flows in a westerly direction before discharging into Jacob Creek and then the North Para River. The monitoring site was located on Breakneck Road, about 4 km south from Tanunda. The major land use in the 91 hectare catchment is stock grazing, with vines and roads making up the remaining area in the catchment.
The creek was given a Poor rating because the site sampled showed evidence of major changes in ecosystem structure, and moderate changes to the way the ecosystem functions. There was considerable evidence of human disturbance including degraded riparian habitats dominated by weeds and nutrient enrichment supporting large growths of emergent aquatic plants in the channel.
The sediments were dominated by detritus and clay, with sand and silt also present. Samples taken from below the surface were grey-brown in colour and showed no evidence that the sediments were anaerobic or lacked oxygen.
Over 35% of the creek was covered by aquatic plants, mostly comprising sedges (Cyperus) and patches of dock (Rumex). The riparian zone consisted of sedges, introduced grasses and weeds, and a few scattered River Red Gums. The surrounding vegetation was sheep grazing country with areas of vineyards and a few scattered gum trees.
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.|
|Widespread introduced weeds in the riparian zone at the site and upstream (reducing habitat quality).||The Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges NRM Board has several pest plant (weed) mitigation and control programs. They work closely with landholders to control weeds on their property and to help stop the spread to other properties and waterways.|
|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.