09067: Riparian improvement of Avon River pools – Gwambygine

    Community tree-planting day held at in York to help stabilise the riparian zone of Gwambyine Pool. Courtesy Kate Raston
    Community tree-planting day held at in York to help stabilise the riparian zone of Gwambyine Pool. Courtesy Kate Raston

    The Avon is an ephemeral river that dries up in summer, leaving only a string of permanent pools for fauna and flora refuge.

    Gwambyine Pool is one of the freshest and deepest of these pools, approaching 4 m deep in places. Ongoing sedimentation, accelerated by catchment and river degradation upstream, has deposited 6000 cubic metres of sand in the pool, reducing its capacity by 30 per cent. This sediment contains an estimated 5068 kg of phosphorus.

    With the help of funding from the State NRM Program, Wheatbelt NRM is targeting sediment removal in Gwambyine Pool and riparian zone stabilisation to:

    • improve water quality
    • increase hydrological capacity
    • provide summer refuge of fauna and flora.

    Works include pool dredging, bank stabilisation, fencing and revegetation and will be conducted in partnership with the Department of Water, the River Conservation Society and the Talbot Brook Land Management Association.

    The project also aims to enhance the connectivity of native riparian vegetation remnants and aims to establish corridors to Gwambygine Pool.

    Investment: $ 290 549
    Delivery organisation: Wheatbelt NRM
    Project duration: June 2010 - September 2012
    Location: Gwambygine Pool on the Avon River, 13 km south of York

    Major project achievements

    • Ecological assessments throughout sites lead to the completion of:

      • 7, 000 seedlings planted to reduce erosion, salinity and increase biodiversity/ecological processes.

      • 20.2km of fencing to protect vegetation, reduce erosion and mitigate effects of cropping.

      • Removal of 8, 000m3 of accumulated sediment (after consultation with Deptartment of Indigenous Affairs).

    • Incorporating local community groups which lead to an increase in volunteers and community involvement.

    Lessons Learnt

    • Appropriate surveying enables a successful completion of a project, even when time is limited.

    • Survey methodology (previous invertebrate surveys were not consistent) needs to be uniform to successfully compare data.

    Project partners

    Friends of Dale; Landholder Talbot Brook Land Management Association; Department of Water - Water Science Branch; Ross Strata PS Students; Emmanuel Catholic College Bush Rangers; Curtin University Landscape Design Students.

    More information

    Wheatbelt NRM  (08) 9690 2250 or

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