Friday May 9th was the day of the Catchement to Coast tour, kindly organised by Ocean Watch and Tide to Table. The people attending the tour covered all aspects of the catchment from farmers and organisation in the catchment systems through to commerical fisher’s and related business’s.
The tour began in Bundaberg at Riverside and from here the tour group looked at sites of great importance along Splitter’s Creek.
Splitter’s Creek has great importance to ecology of fresh waterways as it is home to some of the regions rare fish species such as the “Lungfish”, and also plays home to other fish such as Mullet, Bream, Bass and Cod.
The tour gave all members of the trip an insight into how fresh water stream health plays a major role in the overall health of the oceans and fishing industry,and how the little things that happen in and around fresh waterways has a major effect on the fishing industry ,health of the ocean and all waterways.
Along the way guest speakers spoke about restoring the health of the Burnett Mary Region, the significance of Splitters’ Creek in the Burnett River estuary, fish migration along Splitter’s Creek and how through the use of improved fishways along Splitter’s creek will help fish to move upstream. The tour also looked at the importance of streamside vegetation for fish, environmental flows and the role wetlands play in water quality and habitat.
After a little trip on the bus the tour group then boarded the “Bundy Belle” and went for a cruise along the Burnett River. While sitting back and enjoying the scenery along the Burnett guest speakers talk to about the changes to the Burnett over time and the impacts on habitiat and productivity of the fishery.
Other topics of interest along the way included a demonstration of a working trawler along the Burnett and how, through the use of by-catch reduction devices on these vessles is used in todays trawling to help decrease the number of non-targeted species being caught in the nets.