Tributary of St Kitts Creek, north from Truro
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 and a few gum trees
- Minor bank erosion caused by stock accessing the channel
About the location
This creek is a small, first-order tributary in the Northern Mount Lofty Ranges that rises to the west of Mount Rufus and flows in a southerly direction where it discharges into St Kitts Creek. The monitoring site was located off Noack Road, about 9 km north from Truro. The major land use in the 21 hectare catchment is stock grazing, with smaller areas also used for oil seed production and roads.
The tributary 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 bank erosion caused by stock damage.
The sediments were dominated by clay and detritus, with sand, gravel and silt also present. Samples taken from below the surface were grey in colour and showed no evidence that the sediments were anaerobic or lacked oxygen. About 10 m of bank erosion was recorded at the site, where sheep and cattle accessed the creekbed.
No aquatic plants were observed in the channel and the riparian vegetation comprised introduced grasses and a few isolated gum trees. The surrounding vegetation at the site was cleared cropping and grazing land, with a few remnant gum trees remaining in the local landscape.
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.|
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