Just like the canary in the coalmine, the presence or absence of freshwater crayfish can tell us a lot about creek health in the Blue Mountains.
Recent research conducted by Blue Mountains City Council show that while pesticides remain a common threat in many local waterways, crayfish populations at Jamison Creek (Wentworth Falls) have made a remarkable recovery after a serious incident of pesticide contamination at the site in 2012 led to the deaths of over 1000 crayfish.
These results are among several just released in Council’s 2021 Waterways Health Snapshot. This annual report on the ecological health of our waterways is compiled from data gathered at over 50 monitoring sites, which are located throughout the Blue Mountains from Lapstone through to Mount Wilson.
Other findings in the report are that 57% of our waterways are in good to excellent health, whereas 43% are in poor to fair health.
These results are an improvement on last year’s Waterways Health Snapshot which found that 51% of waterways were in good to excellent health, with 49% being in fair to poor health.
Mayor Mark Greenhill said: “Long running water monitoring and ecological surveys such as these play a critical role in alerting us to potential threats to our water quality and water-dependent ecosystems. As a community, I also encourage each and every one of us to consider using alternative pest control methods so we can keep pesticides out of our drains and our waterways.”
Download the 2021 Waterways Health Snapshot here.
To get involved in the Blue Mountains Crayfish Count go to: bmcc.nsw.gov.au/crayfish-count.
To learn more about Council’s Waterways conservation projects visit: bmcc.nsw.gov.au/waterways.
Photo: Freshwater Crayfish