Short Virtual Presentation & Digital Poster 10th Australian Stream Management Conference 2021

Bushfire recovery in the nariel valley  a long way to go (#35)

Kelly Behrens 1
  1. North East Catchment Management Authority, Wodonga, VIC, Australia

1. The 19/20 Bushfires impacted the majority of the Upper Murray catchment, including Nariel Valley.  This paper will look at the challenges of recovery from the bushfires along Nariel Creek.   


2. The North East CMA are faced with a challenging situation of prioritisation of sites focusing on restoring river health to a highly modified system. A recently completed report examined the Geomorphology of Nariel Creek and highlighted the difficulties of dealing with this ‘wandering gravel bed stream’. Armed with this report a major challenge facing the CMA is how do we get landholders to understand there needs to be a major change in the way Nariel Creek is managed?


3.  Past management has not addressed the problem, given the high energy of the river system. The long-term solution will involve landholders applying a fundamental shift to the way they have managed the Creek for many generations. If this is not done the Creek will continue to erode, deposit vast amounts of sediment on agricultural land, reduce the quality of water available for stock and will have serious consequences on aquatic biota.  

4. The Nariel Creek is a system in trouble. With the majority of the catchment burnt by the 19/20 fires, preceding years of drought, a lack of native riparian vegetation, large amount of burnt willows and largely unrestricted  stock access there is no doubt that a large scale riparian improvement program needs to include change in management of this system. The CMA is working with landholders to achieve this.

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