Gunbower Forest Outfall Preliminary Flora and Fauna Assessment - M/BUS/311
Australian Ecosystems & MDFRC Technical Report
The North Central Catchment Management Authority engaged Australian Ecosystems in partnership with the Murray Darling Freshwater Research Centre (MDFRC) to investigate the potential ecological implications of using a small anabranch off Gunbower Creek as a flood outlet, in the northwest end of Gunbower Forest. The project is part of a larger Living Murray funded program to supply environmental water to the floodplain system and is highly likely to have a positive effect on the associated ecosystems. The current investigation focuses on ecological values around Chinamans Bend on Gunbower Creek (see Figure 1), as modelling and anecdotal evidence suggest this is where flood water naturally flow out of the forest. The investigation was initially general in nature and only considered the short-term impacts of the proposed project as the location and design of the outlet are still in the planning stages. Although subsequent to the field survey, it has been suggested the extent of works required for the flood outlet is little more than erosion control (i.e. rock walling) and eucalypt sapling removal along the anabranch off Gunbower Creek at Chinamans Bend (Pam Beattie pers comm). In summary, the investigation includes a review of existing information and relevant biodiversity conservation legislation, a field assessment and a report on the findings. The current report succeeds the Gunbower Forest outlet ecological investigation discussion paper which reported on a review of existing flora and fauna literature, databases and mapping, and relevant federal, state and local biodiversity conservation regulations and legislations. Included in the current report are the results of the field assessment and recommendations to avoid and minimise impacts to species and areas of conservation significance. Water quality observations and the results of the aquatic fauna survey as conducted by the Murray Darling Freshwater Research Centre (MDFRC) are summarised in the main document, and included in their entirety as an Appendix.
MDFRC funding agency: North Central Catchment Management Authority
MDFRC client: Australian Ecosystems as project manager, North Central Catchment Management Authority as final client