Trees

Willow works improve Yea Wetlands

Wednesday 4 December, 2013
Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority (CMA), through its Hooray for Yea program, has been carrying out willow control work in recent weeks to help the Yea Wetlands Committee implement its Yea Wetlands Vegetation Management Plan.

Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority (CMA), through its Hooray for Yea program, has been carrying out willow control work in recent weeks to help the Yea Wetlands Committee implement its Yea Wetlands Vegetation Management Plan.

"The Yea River has been identified as a priority river by the Goulburn Broken CMA because of its high environmental values, which include the presence of the endangered Macquarie Perch, as well as for its recreational and economic values," Goulburn Broken CMA River Health Officer Kirsten Roszak said.

Willows are classified as a Weed of National Significance (WoNS) and are one of the most serious riverbank and wetland weeds in Australia.

"Visitors to the wetlands may have noticed a number of willow trees growing on the banks and in the Yea River, with a particularly large infestation upstream of the Goulburn Valley Highway Bridge," Ms Roszak said.

"Willows are problematic because they increase the risk of erosion, reduce quality and flow of water, provide less suitable habitat for native fish, birds and mammals and they can reduce access to streams for recreational activities such as fishing. It is therefore very important that the Goulburn Broken CMA supports community groups such as the Yea Wetlands Committee with this sort of work."

Yea Wetlands Committee of Management Chair Glenda Woods said she was excited to work with the Goulburn Broken CMA's Hooray for Yea project.

"The committee involves a group of volunteers and it is very difficult for us to undertake some of the larger activities in our plan," Ms Woods said. "We appreciate the Goulburn Broken CMA's support in managing the willows within the wetlands, which provides such valuable habitat for birds, fish, and other wildlife and plants."

Ms Roszak said it would take a few weeks for the willows to die.

"They will be replaced with local indigenous plants to help stabilise the banks and increase habitat for native wildlife," she said.

Funding for the project is provided through the State Governments Securing Priority Waterways Program.

To find out more about the Hooray for the Yea and other Goulburn Broken CMA programs please visit www.gbcma.vic.gov.au or phone 03 5736 0100.