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Woody weed follow-up on Bega River

Experienced contractors will begin follow-up ‘woody weed’ control works along a stretch of the Bega River from the Princes Highway to Tarranganda on February 19.

Contractors will work their way up the river on foot or using kayaks and will use methods including stem injection and spot spraying to target individual plants.

This latest round of work complements the significant willow and box elder control works which have occurred along this stretch of river over the last 10 years.

"The river feels like a different place since works have taken place. Willows, box elders, privet and other weeds had started to dominate and it looked like a place that nobody cared about.” said Ali Rodway, a member of the Bega River and Wetlands Landcare Group.

“Now you can see the beautiful old she oaks and many other native plants that belong here. You can see the beautiful sweep of the river now that it isn’t choked up by willows.”

The primary intent of channel control works along this reach has been to reduce chokes and open up the channel, which will benefit recreational users such as swimmers and kayakers.

“So many people use this part of the river now. It’s a perfect escape from town on a hot day for walks, swims and picnics.”

Control works are particularly important near the Bega River anabranch to ensure the Bega River channel does not become blocked and divert the main flow path into the anabranch.

Recent studies by the CSIRO have shown that willows growing instream can take up more than 5 megalitres of water per hectare of willow canopy area per year hence keeping them in control in this stretch of river will enable more water to flow in the system.

“The change in the river system in this area has been considerable since 2007 when willow control initially occurred” said Shannon Brennan, Senior Land Services Officer with South East LLS said.

“The sandy substrate of the lower Bega River, combined with willows’ tendency to grow instream or on sandy bars or islands means this is a particularly good place for new plants to emerge”.

These works will also build on on-going efforts of numerous riparian revegetation activities that have occurred in adjacent riparian and picnic areas over the last 6 years and will assist in protecting past investments.

Funding for this project was provided through the NSW Environmental Trust Community Bush Regeneration Grants project stream through a grant held by the Bega River and Wetlands Landcare Group.

For further information on this project please contact Shannon Brennan, South East Local Land Services on (02) 6491 7823.

ENDS

Media contact: Shannon BrennanSenior Land Services Officer, South East Local Land Services, 0428 259 245