Solar powered foot valve to control flow to off stream watering point. The water points are installed in conjunction with riparian fencing and provide stock with access to water when stream banks are fenced off to minimise erosion and improve stock safety.
Summary of progress
Blacks Creek catchment area hydrology was significantly altered in 1997 with the construction
of Teemburra Dam to provide water resources for agriculture and townships in the Pioneer Valley. Flow regimes through Blacks Creek are now regulated by the Pioneer Valley Water Resources Plan (2009) to minimise adverse impacts on the downstream environment. However, while Blacks Creek supports good instream and riparian habitat, the dam impacts dramatically on flow regimes and fish passage. Almost 90% of the catchment catchment area supports grazing production.
In 2007, the Blacks Creek catchment area was rated as being in relatively good condition compared to other Mackay Whitsunday catchments. Between 2007 and 2013, there have been excellent efforts by graziers who manage more than 11,000 hectares in this catchment. Their management practice improvements have resulted in water quality benefits and positive ecosystem health changes. This work by local producers forms a good foundation to develop improved flow management strategies for fish habitat and migration.
Grazing management practices that reduce particulate and inorganic nitrogen as well as phosphorus loads are the priority for improving event water quality of Blacks Creek catchment area.
Management strategies to improve flow from Teemburra Dam to mimic natural flow regimes of Blacks Creek will be key to improving fish community abundance and diversity. Continued efforts to improve riparian management should see in-stream habitat improvements over time.