River

Willow claims rejected by CMA

Wednesday 12 April, 2006
The Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority has rejected recent claims that its willow management program is undermining trout fishing in the Jamieson River.

The Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority has rejected recent claims that its willow management program is undermining trout fishing in the Jamieson River.

"It is important that this issue is kept in perspective,'' the Authority's Chief Executive Officer Mr Bill O'Kane said.

"Willows are a weed of National Significance.  The GBCMA, Victorian Government and Commonwealth Government are united on this view." 

"The Jamieson River has approximately 120 km of river frontage. The recently poisoned willows shade approximately 1.3 kilometres of it,'' Mr O'Kane said.

The work was undertaken as part of a detailed strategy developed in consultation with the community and adjacent landowners.

Mr O'Kane acknowledged that the works may have caused changes in the level of shade in an area about 1 per cent of the district's waterways.

But, he said, 3600 native trees had been planted to replace the willows.

The Authority's Manager Strategic River Health, Wayne Tennant, said the organisation plans to work with landholders along 15 km of Jamieson River frontage to plant 30,000 trees over the next two to three years.  This project will improve the condition of the frontage and contribute to better instream health.

He rejected suggestions that the willow management activity had caused major increases in river temperature throughout the Jamison River, as suggested recently.

Mr Tennant said self seeding willows were choking parts of the Jamieson River and undermining the natural ecosystem.

"They alter the ecology of rivers, destroying habitat for native species, including black fish and barred galaxias, platypus and bugs and over-run native vegetation,'' he said.

Tom O'Dwyer, Waterway Implementation Manager with the CMA said there was broad community support for the work along the Jamieson River and he looked forward to continuing to work with landholders to return the waterway to a more natural state.

Release ends

For more information telephone Bill O'Kane at the CMA on 58 201100 or Lisa McKenzie at Impress Publicity on 58 212 651.