The system is a relatively large wetland habitat remnant which is representative of the Burdekin Delta land system. The system contains several perennial and seasonal wetland basins including one isolated from aseasonal flows and retaining water quality conditions close to historical conditions. There is mature riparian woodland with a diversity of species. This wetland is part of the Barratta Creek subcatchment within the Lower Burdekin River Basin.
Aseasonal flows, absence of grazing and the upstream presence of weed seed and propagule sources have led to the domination of the flora of this area by exotic pasture grasses such as Paragrass and Hymenachne and aquatic weeds such as Water hyacinth. There is a low density Chinee Apple infestation in the riparian zone. Long-term water quality testing by ACTFR indicated that the system receives very high nutrient loading from water inflows.
This system was recommended for rehabilitation works by Jim Tait and Vern Veitch in Freshwater Wetlands of Barratta Creek Catchment Management Investment Strategy.
Rationale for Action
Collinson’s is a high profile site which straddles the Bruce Highway. Over the last decade, the decline in ecosystem health of the wetland has been obvious to even the casual observer. The site was previously very attractive with open water, diverse native aquatic vegetation including lilies, and was often utilized by the local community as a picnicking spot.
Achieving a good outcome at this site represents an opportunity to advertise the effectiveness of Best Management Practice with regards to seasonal grazing of ponded pasture and co-operative weed control agreements. The willingness of most landholders to commit additional funds is an indication of their interest in the rehabilitation of this site. Given that a primary impact driver of the Hymenachne infestation is from the SunWater channel (RB1), this investment may provide the impetus for SunWater to work with NQ Dry Tropics to control the Hymenachne infestation in their balancing storage and within their channels.
Collinson’s Lagoon was surveyed as part of a NQ Dry Tropics NRM wetland rehabilitation project. Only 6 native and 1 exotic fish species were recorded from this lagoon in December 2008, but 11 species were recorded in July 2009. Additional species recorded in July 2009 included barramundi, and hypoxia sensitive species such as bony bream and fly-specked hardyheads. The large wet season flood event and improved habitat conditions after weed removal, probably both contributed to this improved result. Now that they are present, it is hoped that improved instream conditions due to the NQ Dry Tropics wetland rehabilitation project will see these species persist through the year.
- Fish Survey of Collinsons,Didgeridoo and Jack's Lagoons, Burdekin Floodplain, North Queensland - ACTFR Report 09/30, August 2009
- Freshwater Wetlands of Barratta Creek Catchment Management Investment Strategy - Veitch V. and Tait J.
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