Overview of Urban System Repair Program Activities
Improving aquatic habitat through fishway installation and erosion management
Modification of the lower Lagoons Creek catchment (Mackay) and its associated waterways has resulted in sediment deposition, exotic weed proliferation and subsequently, fragmented the creek into sections of discontinuous waterway. Loss of instream connectivity impacts aquatic species migration. Installation of a three-ridge rock ramp fishway will ensure the successful passage of a range of fish size classes over a range of flow regimes. Additionally two erosion control measures were installed to mitigate the cumulative impacts of increased urban development and agricultural farming practices.
Large 1 to 1.5 m sized natural round boulders rocks have been placed within the creek bed and bank to further prevent the erosive nature of the increased stream flow as result of human induced changes (ie agriculture and urbanisation). Rocks, which provide structural integrity and instream complexity e.g. small drops between ridges, riffles and refuge areas are critical to the migration of important commercial, recreational and indigenous fish species (e.g. barramundi and tarpon) upstream into freshwater wetland and waterway nursery habitats.
Plans for the future
During the following year, the Urban System Repair program aims for:
- Completion of the lower Lagoons Creek Stage 2 proposal. Completion of Stage 1 has seen the construction of a high priority fishways in a high priority urban sub catchment, with good evidence of fish migration.
Stage 2 will involve the installation of additional fish rock ramps and sediment ponds connecting the existing Mackay Royal Botanical Garden to the downstream environment. Works are scheduled to occur summer 2015/16, with revegetation to follow post wet season. This project is jointly funded by Mackay Regional Council, Reef Catchments and Department of Transport and Main Roads. Further information can be found on Mackay Regional Council’s website.
- Rehabilitation of Little McCreadys Creek. Little McCreadys Creek was chosen as a site suitable for developing and showcasing best practice methods for improving stormwater quality, rehabilitating waterways, enhancing aquatic habitat and improving ecological corridors in line with Mackay Regional Council’s Stormwater Voluntary mechanism proposal. The project site comprises approximately 700 metres of Little McCreadys Creek at Rural View running east down to Bucasia-Mackay Road up to Dawson Boulevard. The creek is heavily modified and straightened with the current trapezoidal shape created to ensure efficient runoff. The surrounding catchment is progressively transitioning from rural to urban residential and was historically used for cane farming.
- The aim of the collaboration is to develop a holistic approach to urban waterway management, integrating environment and social aspects. Four lateral wetland benches will be created to engage in small to medium storms but sit off line to reduce stormwater impacts and construction costs. Lateral wetlands reduce flow velocities in smaller events by widening channel dimensions.
Remnant vegetation is to be extended within adjoining open space and enhanced though weed control and additional planting of appropriate native species. The planting will generally create canopy and ground cover but retain an open mid-storey to maintain an open park environment. Further information can be found on Mackay Regional Council’s Connecting Mackay website.
- Instigate development of Coastal Management Guidelines for the Whitsunday and Isaac regions. Coastal Management Plans identify the key conservation and management issues in the coastal zone and help guide future management decisions and activities for coastal land under Council jurisdiction. Conservation and other management issues considered include native vegetation and vegetation zonation, public access, wildlife, cultural heritage erosion, climate change, non-native vegetation, and waste dumping.