Growers and stakeholders got together in March to explore the catchments of the Lower Herbert, without getting their feet wet! The two days of Walking the Landscape Workshops enabled participants to share their knowledge of the area, such as how water moves during different rainfall events, the soils, waterways and values for agriculture and fish production. The workshops helped develop a mutual understanding of how the Lower Herbert catchments works and identified actions that could be taken to improve water quality and fish habitat in the Lower Herbert.
Approximately 27 people attended each day including sugarcane growers, community members, researchers, extension officers, Hinchinbrook Shire Council representatives, Terrain Natural Resources Management (NRM), OzFish and Government staff. Six sub-catchment areas in the Lower Herbert were explored in detail, with growers enthusiastically sharing their knowledge of the landscape surrounding their farms.
Catchment water quality was discussed during the workshops, with opportunities identified for treatment systems, wetlands, streambank restoration and riparian revegetation. Sites for additional water quality monitoring were also suggested. This all aimed to complement existing best management practice extension projects in the Lower Herbert. Numerous potential barriers to fish passage, such as culverts, weirs and weed chokes, were also identified for further ground-truthing and possible remediation, as part of the Terrain NRM Fish Homes and Highways project.
Walking the Landscape workshops also contribute to the Catchment Stories (Department of Environment and Science) des.qld.gov.au.
The workshops were an initiative of the Herbert River Catchment Landcare Group and Terrain NRM, delivered in partnership with Department of Environment and Science (Queensland Wetlands Program), Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, Herbert Cane Productivity Services and Hinchinbrook Shire Council. They were jointly funded by the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries Enhanced Extension Coordination project (Queensland Reef Water Quality Program) and Australian Government’s Reef Trust project.