Streamwatch

The Streamwatch program ( formerly run by Sydney Water and now by Australian Museum) has been operating at Lawson Creek since 2005 and at North Lawson since 2008. Two types of testing are undertaken:

1. Water quality: we test for oxygen and phosphate levels, salt levels, acidity/alkalinity and turbidity (water clearness) every month. Generally the results for all sites are quite good but we have had problems with excessive sediment flows in Lawson Creek, leading to high turbidity. High concentrations of iron oxide in the tested stream in north Lawson, upstream of Fairy Falls, are also a concern, as the iron oxide reduces oxygen levels in the water.

2. We also test for macroinvertebrates (aquatic worms, flys, bugs etc with no backbone) once each year. The more the better. Our results fall generally into the Fair-Very Good range.

Our Streamwatch activites are auspiced by Australian Museum Streamwatch and Blue Mountains City Council. They provide equipment, annual training and general support. All data collection techniques are quality controlled and data is recorded on a central Streamwatch website.

Australian Museum Streamwatch

Australian Museum Streamwatch

Further information can be found at:

1. Australian Museum Streamwatch/Streamwatch Project Officer at http://australianmuseum.net.au/streamwatch and

2. Blue Mountains City Council/Aquatic Systems Officers at http://bmcc.nsw.gov.au/waterways. Interesting reading on the BMCC site includes the 2015-16 Waterways Health Report, various Macroinvertebrates Survey Reports and Freshwater Crayfish of Blue Mountains.

Living Catchments, Living Streams

Living Catchments, Living Streams

 

To see Streamwatch in action, have a look at our film Bushcare Blue Mountains: South Lawson Park. Water and macroinvertebrate sampling are demonstrated:

https://vimeo.com/verahong/south-lawson-bushcare

In 2010 we participated in a stygofauna (groundwater dwelling crustaceans, worms, insects etc) monitoring program in conjunction with BMCC and Macquarie University. Lawson swamp, a section of Lawson Creek, recorded good levels of stygofauna activity and taxa diversity.

 

Water sampling Lawson creek downstream swamp Mar 2016

Water sampling at Lawson Creek downstream of swamp Mar 2016  Photo: P. Ardill

Measuring Lawson swamp peat depth for stygo fauna monitoring 2010

Measuring Lawson swamp peat depth for stygofauna monitoring 2010 Photo: P. Ardill

BMCC aquatic officers provide training and support 2008

BMCC aquatic officers provide training and support, Sept 2008 Photo: P. Ardill

Measuring stream turbidity 2011

Sampling Lawson swamp stygofauna bore  2011 Photo: P. Ardill

Crinea signifera; Common Eastern Froglet

Crinea signifera, Common Eastern Froglet, North Lawson April 2016    Photo: P. Ardill

Bushcare and Streamwatch are highly complementary activites. Bushcare improves water quality and bug life by stabilising catchment and riparian corridor soils and vegetation. Streamwatch results can indicate if there are major adverse issues in a catchment, such as excessive land clearing, gross pollution and stormwater flow treatment and management deficiencies.

You are welcome to come along to observe our Streamwatch sessions on the third Sunday of the month. Budding junior scientists accompanied by an adult are welcome. Please check for time and location by phone on a prior day (See About Us for contact details).

North Lawson Streamwatch with Australian Museum staff April 2016

North Lawson Streamwatch with Australian Museum staff April 2016 Photo: P. Ardill

 

Euastacus sp., Spiny Crayfish, a local species, Lawson Creek, 2016. Threatened by poor water quality and fox predation

Euastacus sp., Spiny Crayfish, a local species, Lawson Creek, 2016. Threatened by poor water quality and fox predation Photo: P. Ardill

Eastern Water Dragon, North Lawson, Oct 2016

Eastern Water Dragon , North Lawson, Oct 2016  Photo: P. Ardill

Collecting macroinvertebrates Photo: V Hong

Collecting macroinvertebrates Photo: Vera Hong

Analysing macroinvertebrates Photo: V Hong

Analysing macroinvertebrates Photo: Vera Hong

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lawson Creek macroinvertebrate bugs. October 2017

Lawson Creek macroinvertebrate bugs, October 2017 (Photo: P Ardill)

 

 

Mayfly nymph. They are sensitive and their presence indicates good water quality. October 2017, Lawson Creek. Photo: P. Ardill.

Mayfly nymph (centre). They are sensitive and their presence indicates good water quality. October 2017, Lawson Creek. Photo: P. Ardill

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