River Health Workshop number two a big hit!

28th June 2022 |

What makes a healthy river? How do I catch a waterbug? And what does it mean? 

On 25th June Landcare Tasmania hosted the second of two River Health workshops held in the Huon Valley this month, with presenters Cassie Strain, Simon Roberts, and John Gooderham.  

This workshop covered all things river health. 34 attendees spent a mild wintry day at Mountain River learning what makes a healthy riparian (river bank) zone, how to test water quality and how to measure ecological health by counting waterbugs! 

Cassie Strain from NRM North talked trees and took us through what makes a healthy riparian zone... and what makes it not-so-healthy.  Willows, cows, waste and runoff were among some of the culprits...

We got a chance to brainstorm some 'river health action plans' -what are the next steps we are going to take for the health of our local waterways? 

Simon Roberts showed us some tips and tricks for water quality testing.  How can the community test water quality, what are we looking for and what is the process of starting a Waterwatch group? 

After a yummy lunch (thanks My Slice of Pie) we headed outdoors to catch some bugs! John Gooderham the big bug nerd (big nerd for tiny bugs...) demonstrated the best techniques for taking waterbug samples.  Back in the 'lab' we observed the many wonderful critters lurking in our samples. Is it a blood worm? A mite? An underwater grasshopper? Has it wrapped itself in a twig and is violently headbanging when disturbed? These are some of the observations entered into The Waterbug App to record our data (NB: Best, accurate season for recording waterbug samples is Spring). 

Thanks to all who came along, to the presenters Cassie Strain, Simon Roberts, and John Gooderham, the knowledgeable and experienced Chris Bobbi for being around to answer questions, to My Slice of Pie for lunch, to Zero and Jasmine for serving, and to the Huon Valley Council for sponsoring this workshop. 

We hope the local community feel they are now able to listen, watch and record the health of our local waterways, and together, do what we can to help them flourish with life - and a nice range of bugs! 

This workshop is part of our Outreach Program which aims to increase capacity for Landcarers so that all our land and waterways can be cared for by the community. Funded by: Huon Valley Council