Arakoon (South West Rocks NSW)

Arakoon Bitou Bush Program

Arakoon (South West Rocks NSW)

Arakoon (South West Rocks NSW)

Conservation Kayaking on the Hawkesbury Nepean

This program involves day trips in kayaks along the Hawkesbury and Nepean Rivers and in the Hawkesbury floodplain wetlands to treat the Black Willows not previously removed. Kayaks, paddling gear and mapping and treatment tools are provided by Willow Warriors. The goal of the program is to eradicate black willows from the Hawkesbury Nepean Catchment to protect the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area and Hawkesbury Floodplain Wetlands.

The Black Willow Control project in the Hawkesbury Nepean Catchment extends along the Hawkesbury and Nepean Rivers between Wisemans Ferry and Wallacia. Then up along the major tributaries including the Warragamba, Wollondilly, Coxes, Grose, Colo and MacDonald Rivers plus Cattai, South and Erskine Creeks. But there are also infestations of Black Willows in smaller creeks, farm dams and a number of Hawkesbury Floodplain wetlands. The Black Willow Control program started in the late 1990s when infestations were found deep inside the Blue Mountains, Wollemi and Yengo National Parks and large infestation were dominating some of the flood plain wetlands and sallow sections of the rivers in the catchment. The project started with controlling the black willows in the Colo, MacDonald and Grose Rivers, Cattai Creek and also the main river between Penrith and Cattai, but slowed down around 2004 and as a result some of the areas were re-infested. In 2008 we started doing monitoring and follow up treatment in the tributaries and in 2010 we started to focus on primary control of black willows on public land along the Hawkesbury and Nepean Rivers. We hope to complete this during 2015 and then start to work on the galleries in the creeks, dams and wetlands on private property. In February 2014 Black Willows were declared a noxious weed in most regions of NSW.

Along the Hawkesbury and Nepean rivers the riparian zone is generally dominated by weeds including Willows, Gleditsia, Box Elders, Mulberry, Lantana, Privet, Tobacco Bush, Caster Oil, African Love Grass, Wondering Dew, Madera Vine, Balloon Vine and Cape Ivy. So on the Black willow Activities we focus on Black Willows because they spread up to 60km by wind blow seed into the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area and the Floodplain Wetlands. If we do not focus on just the one weed we would never be able to prevent it re-infesting areas we have cleared

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