There is one true river system (the Margaret River) and 14 creek systems in the Cape to Cape region. These invaluable natural resources provide water for agriculture and the town water supply is partly sourced from the Margaret River.
The waterways have not been affected by salinity like many others in Australia; hence they have immense natural values and are home to a diverse range of flora and fauna. These streams are important habitat for fresh water fishes such as Balston’s pygmy perch and the western mud minnow. The Margaret River supports the only known population of the critically endangered hairy marron and the Margaret River burrowing crayfish. However, streams in agricultural areas are subject to a number of threats including a drying climate and reduced stream flow, clearing and stock access, weed invasion and an increasing number of dams holding back environmental flows.
Many wetland systems have been also been cleared and modified by drainage. Those remaining therefore have significant value, including Cape Leeuwin wetlands, Lake Davies, Devils Pool and the Margaret River swamps.
The Waterways program has 3 main areas of focus:
- Increase understanding of our waterways through assessment and surveys.
The CCG has developed 7 River Action plans in the Cape to Cape region detailing the condition of waterways and prioritizing management actions.
River Action Plans (RAPs) have been developed for:
- Yallingup Brook
- Gunyulgup Brook
- Wilyabrup Brook
- Cowaramup Brook
- Ellen Brook
- Margaret River (Bramley Brook and the Lower Margaret River Tributaries have separate plans)
- Boodjidup Brook
The Quininup Brook RAP is currently in progress.
Each waterway is walked along its entire length and assessed according to criteria set out in the Penn-Scott method of riparian assessment (Penn-Scott, 1995). See ‘Assess your waterways’ for more details.
- Undertake priority actions such as weed control and fencing to protect and restore waterways and associated land. Funding is often available to assist landholders with the costs of fencing, weed control and revegetation of areas with local native species. Please contact us for more information on current sources of funding.
- Raise awareness and provide skills and resources to the community with workshops and events.
The Cape to Cape Catchments Group in colaboration with Murdoch University’s Freshwater Fish Group & Fish Health Group have completed a comprehensive review of aquatic biodiversity within our region. The resulting document can be found here.