|Survey and management recommendations
for foreshores of the Upper Kent River
There is a growing awareness within the rural community of the need for the rivers and other watercourses to be fenced and their riparian zones repaired. This would protect these large natural bio-filters and reduce erosion of the riverbanks, which occurs when the protecting fringing vegetation is lost through livestock grazing and trampling.
In 1995, the Department of Agriculture published a Land Management Study for the Kent River catchment. This emphasised the problems facing the upper river catchment and the need for riparian zone protection and management. To assist in the process of riparian repair, the Kent LCDC and the Water and Rivers Commission commissioned Greenskills in 1998 to carry out foreshore work as part of a fencing and catchment rehabilitation repair program.
|10.5 kilometres (8%)||A grade|
|42 kilometres (33%)||B grade|
|67 kilometres ( 53%)||C grade|
|7 kilometres ( 6%)||D grade|
For the 126 kilometres of river foreshores surveyed, there was 99 kilometres (67%) of foreshore fencing in place at the time of the survey. A further 48 kilometres of fencing is required to complete foreshore protection. Overall 83 hectares of the immediate foreshore area requires revegetation to stabilise the banks, and maintain both aquatic and terrestrial corridors.
A survey was also conducted on a priority tributary of the Kent River. This tributary was found to be significantly degraded with 84% of its foreshore in C grade condition, and 17% D grade. It requires a further 9.8 kilometres of foreshore fencing and at least 22 hectares of revegetation in the riparian area.
The river foreshores have many points of salinisation and erosion with significant sections of degradations. Deposits of coarse sediments were observed in the rive bed. Not withstanding the above, significant sections of the river were found to contain foreshores still providing a valuable buffering role, although the effects of increasing salinisation were seen throughout.