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Monday, 20 February 2023

Fallen Swamp Gum relocation planned at Buckland River

North East Catchment Management Authority (CMA) will relocate a fallen Swamp Gum on the right hand bank of the Buckland River, heading off erosion and river health issues.

Project Officer Scott McDonald said the fallen tree has a large root ball which is now exposed and will start to cause erosion to the river bank leading to river health issues if it isn’t moved now.

Mr McDonald said North East CMA would use the fallen tree to support the riverbank and to provide habitat for aquatic species.

The large Swamp Gum will be embedded in the riverbank using an excavator and fastened using hardwood pins. The fallen tree will reduce erosion while providing excellent habitat for platypus, and native and other fish species.

The activity is set to begin in late summer when the river is low.

Mr McDonald said there is vehicle access from the opposite bank with a Parks Victoria-managed track to the river's edge. The excavator will use this already formed vehicle access track to minimise disturbance to the riparian area.

Revegetation of the area around and downstream of the fallen Swamp Gum will also provide better bank stability using native vegetation.

The North East CMA will also mechanically remove a small stand of willows growing on a gravel bar just downstream of the fallen Swamp Gum.  The removal of the willows will support the river to move to the other side and take pressure off the outside bend. The timing will also be in late summer when the river is low.

This project is supported by the Australian Trout Foundation and Alpine Fly Fishers.

Picture 1: Fallen Swamp Gum on the right hand bank showing the size of the exposed root ball.

Picture 2: The recent river height with flows impacting the fallen gum’s root ball.

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