King River at Bila Boya Reserve

King River at Bila Boya Reserve

Gravel base constructed to reduce erosion while permitting cattle to access waterway

Gravel base constructed to reduce erosion while permitting cattle to access waterway

Dense blackberry infestation in waterway

Blackberry in a waterway

Millbrook & King River

A recent focus of activity for the Oyster Harbour Catchment group has been to improve water quality in the King River and Millbrook waterways. Despite their smaller size these waterways are significant contributors to nutrient loads for the Oyster Harbour.

With most of the area being kikuyu based cattle farms and lifestyle properties; the focus has been on fencing to protect the waterways from livestock access.

Where appropriate and feasible, these protected waterways can also be revegetated with local species. This further improves water quality by reducing channel erosion especially during peak water flow and by filtering nitrogen and phosphorus from run off before it enters the waterway. Revegetation will also improve aquatic and terrestrial habitats, assisting native fish, crustaceans, birds and mammals to repopulate the area. It also reduces the risk of weeds such as blackberry establishing and increases the amenity of the property.

Millbrook and King River also contain healthy populations of the vulnerable native fish, Balston’s Pygmy Perch. The critically endangered Western Trout Minnow was also found in the King and Kalgan until recently with the only other known population being found in two the Two Peoples Bay Nature Reserve. Protection of these waterways will help protect these vulnerable species.