The monthly data collected by Waterwatch volunteers provides the MRCCC with detailed information of baseline water quality throughout the catchment. During 2015-2016, 73 individuals, families and businesses collected data in 8 distinct network groups with 1389 samples taken – 59% more than the previous year. Thank you to all the volunteers who have helped out with this program over the last year: the efforts of landholders, local businesses, councils and other organisations who support the program financially and in kind is greatly appreciated. Thank you also to Ian Mackay from Moy Pocket and Garth Jacobsen from Tiaro who represent the Waterwatch Sector on the MRCCC , and have assisted with the logistics and promotion of the Waterwatch program.
In addition to physical and chemical data, Waterwatch volunteers record observations of Mary River aquatic fauna species, e.g. turtle sightings, water weeds and general river flow conditions. This information is recorded in the MRCCC Waterwatch database and information is provided for other MRCCC initiatives.
In October 2016 the MRCCC held a Catchment Crawl with participants travelling from the headwaters to the river mouth over 2 days (report page 11). Numerous Waterwatch volunteers assisted staff to collect data at various sites throughout the Catchment Crawl. Regular Waterwatch volunteer, Kevin Jackson, performed a separate Community Catchment Crawl on the upper Tinana Creek catchment in the Goomboorian area, seven sites were visited and core water quality parameters were collected by Kevin and the local community members that assisted him.
Right: Waterwatch Coordinator, Jess Dean shows MRCCC Life Member Jim Buchanan the hand held probes used by volunteers in the field
|Waterwatch Network||Waterways Monitored|
|Upper Mary||Skene Creek, Scrub Creek, Chinaman’s Creek, Little Yabba Creek, Booloumba Creek, Lobster Creek, Obi Obi Creek and Bridge Creek|
|Kenilworth||Coonoon Gibber, Mary River, Oakey Creek, Walli Creek, Coolabine Creek, Belli Creek and Cedar Creek|
|Eastern Catchments||Sandy Creek, Tinana Creek, Yards Creek, Big Sandy Creek, Ulirrah Creek, Coondoo Creek, Tagigan Creek, Tinana Creek, Ross Creek and Hines Creek|
|Gympie to Curra||Deep Creek, Pie Creek, Mary River, Six Mile Creek, Scrubby Creek, Reedy Lagoons Catchment, Glastonbury Creek|
|Imbil to Amamoor||Kandanga Creek, Three Mile Creek, Araucaria Creek, Yabba Creek, Caseys Creek, Derrier Creek, Amamoor Creek, Diamondfield Creek and Lewis Creek|
|Widgee & Wide Bay||Widgee Creek, Station Creek, Wonga Creek, Wide Bay Creek, Mary River, Gap Creek, Fat Hen Creek and Wide Bay Creek|
|Tiaro||Munna Creek, Mary River, Gutchy Creek, Tanyalba Creek, Deep Creek, Ooramera Creek, Goora Creek, Spring Creek, Fay Smith Wetlands, Ululah Lagoon and Saltwater Creek|
|Munna||Munna Creek, Boompa Creek, Ramsey Creek Lagoon, Sandy Creek, Eel Creek, Dry Creek, Teebar Creek, Chinamans Gully and Calgoa Creek|
Financial support for the program comes from Gympie Regional Council and Sunshine Coast Council. Community sampling is supplemented by data HQPlantations collects from the Toolara and Imbil forestry areas and QP&WS collects from Conondale National Park.
These areas include tributaries with quite unusual characteristics covering large areas of the catchment. The information HQP and QP&WS staff provide helps the MRCCC to gain a holistic picture of the Mary River catchment.
Retiring Waterwatchers recognised for their long term commitment to the program are Scott and Lyn Woolbank and Sue and John Bailey, both from the Upper Mary Network. Scott collected data from 5 sites for 14 years and holds the record for the most number of samples collected of all time. Sue and John Bailey collected data from 2 sites for 14 years. Recognition and appreciation also goes to Cathy and Rob Kerle, Brian Thomas, Errol Janke and the Crossley family from the Widgee Wide Bay Network and Des King from the Kenilworth Network, for completing 10 years of Waterwatching this year.
The logistics of moving water testing kits in and out of Gympie, and between diverse locations, on a reliable schedule would be a challenge, without the support of many local individuals and businesses. The MRCCC is grateful for the assistance of Sauers Garden Produce Gympie and Cooroy, B & H Rural, Tiaro, Goomboorian Matilda Petrol Station, Ross Creek Store, Widgee Store, Amamoor Store, Barung Landcare, Mapleton Realty, Conondale Store and the Kenilworth Garage for holding and transporting kits for volunteers to collect.
There will always be additional locations to be monitored and retiring volunteers to replace. There is a need for more volunteers in the Upper Mary Network. If you have easy access to a section of the Mary River or one of its many tributaries and are able to contribute 1 hour a month there will be space for you.
- 73 individuals, families and businesses volunteering time to support water quality monitoring in the Mary River Catchment
- 1389 water samples collected throughout the catchment
- 108 sites sampled at least once during the past year