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Caring for the Campaspe on World Volunteer Day

14 Dec 2017

Local volunteers now have access to a new citizen science tool to help track changes to the much-loved Campaspe River, with the official launch of five photo monitoring sites.

The North Central Catchment Management Authority (CMA) is looking to see big improvements in the condition of the Campaspe as a result of the $6 million Caring for the Campaspe project and are calling on the public to help monitor this change.

A major focus of the project is to rehabilitate heavily grazed and willow-choked riverbanks. This is achieved by working with land managers and community to remove weeds, limit livestock access through fencing and plant native vegetation.

The new photo monitoring points – called Fluker posts – have been erected at five key sites along the river to track visual changes to river over time and monitor the progress of the riverbank restoration works.

Locals and visitors are encouraged to take photos at these dedicated sites and post them to an online image library.

Woodend Primary School students celebrated the launch of the Fluker posts with a visit to the Campaspe at Carlsruhe on World Volunteer Day, December 5.

The students are already helping to care for the Campaspe through monthly water quality testing as part of the Waterwatch River Detectives Program.  They will now learn how to use the Fluker posts to help monitor progress of the riverbank restoration works well underway.

North Central CMA Project Manager Angela Gladman said the full benefits of this investment won’t appear overnight:

“Improving waterway health is a long-term and large-scale commitment; it can take a generation to realise the outcomes we seek,” she said.

Along with tracking the environmental outcomes of the investment, the CMA expects to see a range of social, cultural and economic benefits arising from the Caring for the Campaspe project.

Ms Gladman said collaboration is an important part of their approach, helping waterway managers to deliver works, create employment, identify shared benefits and leverage investment. 

The Caring for the Campaspe has already involved over 130 landholders and 10 community groups.

“This Carlsruhe site was revegetated and fenced in partnership with Parks Victoria and a Dja Dja Wurrung works crew.  It is a great example of collaboration and building skills and knowledge."

Another central element of the Caring for the Campaspe project is the delivery of water for the environment. 

Environmental flows downstream of Lake Eppalock provide food and habitat for fish and platypus, enhance the important river vegetation and encourage movement and spawning of native fish. 

Great results are already being achieved for fish populations, with record numbers of juvenile murray cod in the river and a boost in the numbers of silver perch for the first time in 10 years.

Caring for the Campaspe is one of a series of ten flagship waterway projects across the state, funded as part of the Victorian Government’s record $222 million investment in waterways and catchments.  

Quotes attributable to Minister for Water, Lisa Neville:

“The Caring for the Campaspe project is a fantastic showcase of what is being achieved under Water for Victoria and the Victorian Government’s record $222 million investment to improve waterway and catchment health”

Quotes attributable to Pam Lenders, Woodend Primary School:

“The Waterwatch River Detectives program really complements all the activities we do about the environment at our Grade 4 Carlsruhe annexe. The children really appreciate how wonderful the environment is when they’re down by the river.”