Monitoring waterway health now an appy snap away

Friday 23 March, 2018
Visitors to local waterways can get involved in a citizen science project to help track changes in stream flows and vegetation thanks to a new app launched on March 14 at the Seven Creeks at Euroa.

The app allows people to upload pictures taken at any of the specially marked Fluker posts that have been installed by creeks and rivers across the state. Fluker posts, named after Victoria University’s Dr Martin Fluker who developed them, allow people to place their phone, tablet or camera in a slot on the post and take photos, which can then be uploaded to the app.

Goulburn Broken CMA’s Jim Castles said the photos would help monitor the benefits of ongoing works to improve the health of the catchment’s waterways.  A significant program of works are underway in the Seven and Hughes creeks as part of the CMA’s Strathbogie Streams large scale waterway restoration project.

“We are working closely with landholders, community and angling groups and other agencies to carry out activities such as revegetating rivers and their banks, fencing creek frontages and providing alternate watering sites for stock,” Mr Castles said. “These activities help improve river health, which not only benefits native fish such as the endangered populations of trout cod and Macquarie perch found in Seven Creeks, but is also good news for anyone who enjoys spending time by the region’s many creeks and rivers.”

Goulburn Broken CMA staff, Friends of the Seven Creeks President Frank Pierce and Taungurung Clans Aboriginal Corporation’s Shane Monk identified a site at the Rockies by Seven Creeks in Euroa as one of the four Fluker post locations in the Goulburn Broken.

“As well as being at the end of a loop of part of a popular walking track around the Seven Creeks, the Rockies is one of the last out crops of rocks in the Seven before it reaches the Goulburn and is a good spot for observing changes in the creek, such as before and after floods,” Mr Pierce said.

The other Fluker posts in the Goulburn Broken Catchment can be found a Gooram Falls on the Seven Creeks and on Hughes Creek near Avenal by the historic road bridge and the Tarcombe Rd gauging station.

The Fluker Post App was developed by Victoria University through the Victorian Government’s $30 million Regional Riparian Action Plan.  It is part of a broader $222 million initiative under Water for Victoria to improve the health of waterways and catchments across regional Victoria.  Through Water for Victoria, the Victorian Government is working with CMAs and the community to undertake large scale restoration projects, track progress and reporting back to communities using citizen science at 10 Flagship Waterways across the state.

 The Fluker Post App can be downloaded via iTunes or Google Play.