Locals and tourists alike spend a great amount of time enjoying the beautiful natural surroundings of the local rivers and coastline. Fishing, boating, skiing, birdwatching and swimming (in the warmer months) are all popular on the rivers but each and every one of these much-loved activities can be detrimental to the environment.
Anglers should practice catch and release, especially when species are under minimum size or when bag limits have been reached. Disguarding of tackle at the end of a fishing session, especially fishing line is very important to keep birds and animals safe from the harmful danger caused by fishing line, hooks, sinkers and crabpot rope.
Boaties should be following speed limits as they are not only there for safety but in built-up areas such as canals, the wake from a boat can wash and erode away sand embankments easily.
Visitors to the rivers and beaches need to take care of the place they have come to enjoy by taking all rubbish away with them! Rubbish in all forms is detrimental to the environment, but the problem it causes in a tidal water system is even worse as the rise and fall of the water level spreads rubbish throughout every reach of the rivers. Mangroves and tree roots act as a net and capture plastic bags, aluminium cans, foam food containers and takeaway coffee cups.
To take action against rubbish in the local river systems, there is always “Clean Up Australia Day”, but a 9 years ago “The Great Riversweep” was born when a group of volunteers associated with Riverwatch saw a need to keep the rivers clean.
Time has flown since that last Riversweep, and it’s that time of year again! Time to haul out your old canoe or kayak, grab your friends and family and help clean up our creeks and rivers in 2010’s ‘Great Riversweep.’
This year’s event will be held on this Sunday the 16th May at a variety of locations across the Sunshine Coast from Caloundra to Noosa. The event aims to cleanse our creeks and rivers of all the rubbish that can easily be missed on foot.
The Riversweep is a great addition to the number of environmental events held throughout the year, it allows people to get outdoors and be active in cleaning up their local area.
‘The Great Riversweep’ first began 9 years ago in Petrie Creek, now the clean-up has spread to include Maroochy River, Mooloolah River, Noosa River, Currimundi Creek, Stumers Creek and Pumicestone Passage.
By having a number of organisations participating across the Sunshine Coast we hope to raise the public’s awareness on the effects of litter and pollution across the region.
Riversweep started as part of Clean Up Australia Day, but due to inclement weather and flooding postponing the event several years in a row, the date was changed to the third Sunday in May.
Last year over 150 people helped out and collected all sorts of rubbish from full diesel drums, couches and fridges, building waste, to the ever growing assortment of bottles, bags and bits. A 50 year old sporting plaque from the Nambour High School was also recovered in Eudlo Creek.
The more people we have participating on the day the greater the impact will be.
Participants are welcome to join in at any site across the coast, if you have your own canoe or kayak that is a bonus! Swan Boat Hire at Maroochydore have kindly donated the use a few extra canoes and kayaks to be used in the Maroochy River; however you will need to register early to get the use of these.
After the mornings activities there will be a free community BBQ for all participants, the location of the BBQ will depend on the area which you helped clean-up. The Maroochy River BBQ is at 1pm at Muller Park, Bli Bli.
If you require more information, or would like to register for ‘The Great Riversweep’ please contact the Maroochy Waterwatch office on 54 764 777.
Associations participating include Maroochy Waterwatch, Sunshine Coast Seniors Kayak Club, Nambour and Maroochydore Scouts, Swan Boat Hire, Noosa Integrated Catchment Association, Coolum and District Coast Care, Coolum Area Parks Society, Mooloolah Waterwatch and Landcare, Currimundi Catchment Care Group, Night Eyes and the Sunshine Coast Regional Council.
The combined litter abatement activities of the catchment groups and council in 2009 have been recognised by being finalists in this year’s Healthy Waterways Awards in the Channel 7 Clean Up Award category. The awards night occurs next Thursday night in Brisbane with the chance of winning the Ministers Grand Prize of $10 000.
LOCAL FISHING REPORT
Noosa: Spotty mackerel and a few Spaniards in the bay. At Sunshine and North reefs there are Spaniards to 26kg, Sweetlip to 3kg and some small Snapper. Dart, bream and whiting to 40cm along the Teewah Stretch. Trevally and Tailor in Woods bay and at the mouth. Flathead to 65cm in the lower reaches.
Maroochy: A 7.1kg snapper, parrot and red throat emperor from Murphy’s Reef. Tailor in the river mouth and along Mudjimba Beach. Plenty of just legal flathead from the Bli Bli markers. Whiting to 30cm from the canals and Picnic Point . Trevally in the southern channel. Bream to 1.2kg, big flathead and trevally in the cod hole.
Kawana: Big grass sweetlip, pearl perch and parrot from the 60m mark of the banks. Spanish mackerel, grass sweetlip and parrot from the Gneerings. Long tail Tuna at Point Cartwright and Mudjimba Island. Dart and Whiting along Kawana beach. Bream from the moorings. Whiting near McKenzie’s Bridge. Sand crabs in the mouth.
Caloundra: Mackerel and grass sweetlip from Brays Rock. Mud crabs between Coochin creek and Donnybrook. Trevally in Pelican Waters. Flathead from the mouth of Bells and Coochin creeks. Bream from the Military jetty. Bream and Flathead from the Boardwalk.
After much persistence Greg Hutchinson came came up with a feed of fish, consisting of whiting and flathead out of the Maroochy Waters Canals.
Pete Batey was flicking plastics on recent session in the lower Maroochy and was lucky enough to hook this big old female dusky flathead that measured 85cm, it was quickly released for the camera to swim another day.
The Annual Riversweep is a great chance to have a day out on the water with the whole family, while cleaning up your environment at the same time.
It is amazing how much rubbish ends up in our water ways from careless people. If you would like to do your part please contact your local shire council for more information on the Riversweep.