Tributary of Duck Ponds Creek, east from Moculta
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 dominated by introduced grasses
- Small areas of silt deposits and bank erosion.
About the location
Tributary of Duck Ponds Creek is a small stream in the Southern Mount Lofty Ranges that rises west from Sugar Loaf Hill and flows in a westerly direction where it discharges into Duck Ponds Creek. The monitoring site was located on a track off Gum Flat Road, about 2 km east from Moculta. The major land uses in the 149 hectare catchment are cereal cropping and stock grazing, with smaller areas used for oil seed production and roads.
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, and areas of fine sediment deposition and bank erosion.
The sediments were dominated by detritus with sand, silt, clay, pebble and boulder also present. Samples taken from below the surface were grey in colour and showed no evidence that the sediments were anaerobic or lacked oxygen. A small amount of silt, about 1 cm deep, covered the creekbed in places and about 10 m of bank showed signs of erosion caused by flood damage of the poorly vegetated banks.
No aquatic plants or algal fragments were seen at the site. The riparian vegetation consisted of a few isolated gum trees over introduced grasses and weeds. The surrounding vegetation was cereal cropping land with only a few scattered gum trees remaining in the local landscape.
Special environmental features
Pressures and management responses
|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.|
|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.