Tag Archives: water

White water rafting business forced to move south as King River dries up

Posted December 12, 2015 14:45:22

White water rafting on the King River Photo: King River Rafting has started operating on the more tame River Derwent because of low water levels on the King River. (Supplied: King River Rafting)

Record low rainfall is forcing a Tasmanian rafting business to shift its operations from the west coast to the south in order to survive.

King River Rafting, run by husband and wife team Paul Steane and Michele Cordwell-Steane, started guided tours along the King River for the first time last summer, taking 200 people in four months.

Rafting on the River DerwentVideo: Rafting on the River Derwent (ABC News)

But the driest October on record has left Hydro Tasmania’s dams at extremely low levels and reduced the once-mighty King River, which relies on the regular release of water, to a whimper.

Ms Cordwell-Steane said the shift was another blow to the struggling West Coast economy which had already been hit hard by the ongoing closure of the Mt Lyell copper mine.

“We probably would have put about $ 80,000 to $ 100,000 into Queenstown and they will certainly miss that,” she said.

“[The rafting] just brings people in so what people mostly do is spend two or three nights’ accommodation in Queenstown and we have groups of up to 16 coming [on the trip], so it will have an impact.”

Paul and Michele Cordwell-Steane Photo: Paul and Michele Cordwell-Steane by the River Derwent as they prepare to take another group rafting. (ABC News: Michael Atkin)

The fledgling business has had to refund more than $ 20,000 in future bookings and there is no work available for some northern staff.

“We have had to refund lots of money so it hasn’t been good, hence our reason for doing the Derwent because we hope we can keep afloat, pardon the pun, until next summer,” she said.

Now they are rafting in the much milder waters of the River Derwent near New Norfolk.

Ms Cordwell-Steane said it was incomparable to the King River.

“It’s very different than on the King, on the Derwent … the rapids are probably level one and two on the King through the Gorge they’re three and four,” she said.

“Yesterday on a Derwent trip we saw a beautiful sea eagle and about five platypus.

“The Derwent is farm land, which is also beautiful but the King you go from the forest to the sea so you go through rainforest, there’s lots of Huon pine and then end up almost at Macquarie Harbour.”

Rafting the King River Photo: While the rapids on the River Derwent are not as wild as those on the King River it’s proximity to Hobart makes it more accessible to tourists. (Supplied: King River Rafting)

The new experience does offer the opportunity to learn rafting and, crucially, is a short drive from Tasmania’s tourism hot spot of Hobart.

It was the perfect holiday fun for engaged couple John Godwin and Rochelle Armstrong.

External Link: Watch: King River Rafting Facebook post

Ms Armstrong said the calmer waters suited her.

“I’ve never really done anything like this before and I’m a bit nervous about the water, so it was very exciting,” she said.

“King River wasn’t really accessible for us because we were already visiting Hobart so we were just looking for something close.”

Mr Goodwin said they get married next week and were under strict instructions to come back unscathed.

“Rochelle is not allowed to go in the water, we’re not allowed to hurt each other,” he said.

“Always hold on to the T bar and the pole otherwise you’ll get a black eye,” Ms Armstrong added.

“The ab workout has been alright, I guess.”

The move south has given new guide 20-year-old James Wynwood the break he was been looking for.

“I’ve been studying for nine months at Tafe and I’ve been waiting for that opportunity to get out there and get into the industry,” he said.

“I’ve fished along the Derwent with my parents and I know a fair bit about it as well so it’s really good for me to be able to take people as a job down the river doing something that I love.”

Ms Cordwell-Steane said she hoped water levels in the King River would recover in time to recommence tours in the summer of 2017 and if the gentler experience along the Derwent River proved popular, King River Rafting might permanently expand its tours to both locations.

Just do not expect it to change its name.

King River Rafting happy to stay afloat Photo: Being forced to explore the River Derwent has opened up a new opportunity and King River Rafting may operate from both locations once the King River is back to usual torrent. (Supplied: King River Rafting)

Topics: lifestyle-and-leisure, travel-and-tourism, tourism, drought, new-norfolk-7140

Agen Sabung Ayam

WA’s native water rat, the rakali, ‘in decline’

Posted December 11, 2015 08:29:48

A rakali, also known as a water rat, sits in a pool of water with its paws clasped. Photo: Wildlife experts say Western Australia’s only freshwater aquatic animal, the rakali, appears to be under threat. (Supplied: David Judge)
Map: Geraldton 6530

Populations of Western Australia’s only freshwater aquatic mammal appear to be under threat, according to wildlife experts.

Although the rakali lives in patches across Australia, many people are not aware of the intelligent native rodent because of its elusive nature.

“They’re really hard to spot, so that’s part of the problem, especially here in Western Australia, they seem to more nocturnal than compared to over east,” World Wildlife Federation Australia spokesperson Sabrina Trocini said.

To uncover more about the creature, Dr Trocini led a citizen scientist program to try find out where the animals live and where they are struggling.

In WA, the otter-like rakali is believed to have populations in the South West, Wheatbelt, and Kimberley regions as well as on islands off the Pilbara coast and isolated areas in Perth.

“We already knew that the rakali had declined in the Wheatbelt and our survey has … actually confirmed that,” Dr Trocini said.

“We had very few sightings in the Wheatbelt region.”

Dr Trocini said the results from the three-month community survey in the southern half of WA suggested the animal was under threat in certain areas.

“We have a strong indication of localised declines,” she said.

“Not only in the Wheatbelt but also in the Perth metropolitan area, especially around the Helena River catchment.

“We have found that there is a great number of historical sightings … but we didn’t receive any recent sightings.”

Drying climate, illegal fishing may be to blame

Dr Trocini believes the drying climate is one factor triggering the decline in populations of the rodent.

“There’s probably different causes, there’s certainly the need for more monitoring and more studies,” she said.

She said the main cause of mortality for the animals was getting caught and drowning in illegal freshwater marron traps.

“They shouldn’t be used, because it’s not just about water rats, fresh water turtles get caught as well,” she said.

“So the best way and the legal way is to use group nets and drop nets for marron fishing.”

Dr Trocini co-authored a report following the citizen science project, which was supported by the Department of Parks and Wildlife and a grant from Lotterywest.

She hopes the study will be the basis for further research to better understand the health of the elusive creature.

Dr Trocini said she hoped the community embraced the animal, which was often mistaken for a rat.

“It is a top predator of our freshwater ecosystem and we have to protect it,” she said.

“I hope more people will know about our rakali in Western Australia and will start looking out for them and being a bit more aware that ‘no it’s not just a big rat, it’s actually a beautiful native animal’.”

Topics: animal-science, animal-behaviour, environment, geraldton-6530

Agen Sabung Ayam

Fish kill investigation concentrate moves to water quality

Posted December 03, 2015 17:58:19

Scientists investigating the deaths of more than 1,000 fish at Cockburn Sound, south of Perth, say early tests recommend environmental variables are most likely to blame.

The dead fish initial washed up in late November.

This week there have been more reports of big numbers of dead blowfish and snapper near the Garden Island Causeway and Point Peron boat ramp.

Division of Fisheries researcher Dr Michael Snow said disease had been ruled out as a feasible cause.

Tests on the fish for much more than 120 chemical substances had been nonetheless underway, but had so far not made any outcomes.

Dr Snow said the concentrate of the investigation was now on water top quality.

“Developing evidence is indicating that it could effectively be a natural event,” he said.

“Algal blooms, anything leading to dissolved oxygen, or it could be an boost in turbidity.

“Something that influences the gills of the fish as it swims via the water.”

Dr Snow stated he was certain it was safe to swim in the location and also protected to eat fish caught in the impacted waters.

Regional fishermen are keen to get a definitive answer about what caused the deaths and say they are concerned about the extended-term implications on general fish stocks.

Justin Smith from the Mangles Bay Fishing Club mentioned the deaths had occurred in the middle of the pink snapper breeding season.

“It couldn’t have occurred at a worse time,” Mr Smith stated.

“What occurs in our sound right here affects the whole coast because the snapper migrate to different components of the coast.

“We just want to get to the bottom of it, really.”

West Australia’s Opposition Leader Mark McGowan said typical monitoring was needed to ensure events of this variety did not take place once more.

The Government-funded Cockburn Sound Management Council had supplied that monitoring function until it was closed two years ago.

Mr McGowan said the Government required to take duty for the fish deaths.

“If there was typical, ongoing monitoring of the sound as was the case for the duration of the Labor years, then maybe we would have recognized what was taking place and we would have seen it coming,” Mr McGowan stated.

Premier Colin Barnett said the deaths had been distressing but was confident scientists would decide the cause soon.

Subjects: environment, marine-biology, fish, rockingham-6168

Agen Sabung Ayam

Traffic chaos as burst water main floods Perth CBD

Posted November 30, 2015 21:40:03

A burst water principal in the centre of Perth has flooded the area and slowed peak hour traffic to a crawl.

Water Corporation crews have shut down the principal at the corner of William and Murray streets, which sent water flooding over the road and footpaths.

The burst principal has triggered some harm to the road surface and the bus lane has been closed to site visitors.

The southbound lane of William Street from Wellington Street to St Georges Terrace was closed.

Commuters were becoming asked by Primary Roads to keep away from the area.

Topics: accidents—other, perth-6000

Agen Sabung Ayam

Taking an inventory of all the water stored under ground

Agen Sabung Ayam

What’s in your properly? (credit: National Park Service- Sonoran Desert)

You most likely make it via most days without pondering about groundwater. All you know is that water comes out of the faucet when you turn the deal with, and there’s fresh generate (and beer!) at the grocery store. Some locations rely on surface water to make these issues occur, but a lot of other individuals pull their water from wells.

The “age” of the groundwater coming out of those wells may well sound like a weird factor to concern yourself with, because the atoms in the molecules have obviously all been about about as extended as the Earth has. But some groundwater was rainwater that seeped by means of the ground just final year, and some groundwater has been underground for more than a million years.

Regional groundwater studies may possibly look into age, but no a single has ever tried to place with each other a global image because, properly, it is actually hard to do. A new study led by the University of Victoria’s Tom Gleeson requires a whack at it, even though, and shows us just how small of our groundwater is significantly less than 100 years old.

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