Pond becomes native sanctuary

Article image - Pond becomes native sanctuary Matt Beitzel, Aquatic Ecologist, Conservation Research observes the transformation of Upper Stranger Pond.

Australian Capital Territory (ACT) Government’s Conservation Research team is providing a new habitat for birds and native fish with the ongoing transformation of Upper Stranger Pond.

Minister for the Environment, Mick Gentleman, said, “Following its draining and the removal of carp last year, Upper Stranger Pond is emerging as a wonderful waterway for people to enjoy as well as providing habitat for native animals.

“The ACT Government’s Conservation Research team is placing logs as ‘snags’ in five locations around the pond. Above water they will provide perches for birds that are safe from foxes and cats. Below water they will provide shelter and food for the thousands of new native fish fingerlings that were introduced to the pond in January.
“The snags will help us mimic natural conditions that promote native ecology and help maintain good water quality. We fully expect Upper Stranger to be a functioning, healthy small aquatic ecosystem within a few years.”

The new native fish have a fighting chance at survival since the removal of 2.6 tonnes of feral carp from the pool.

“The area will be further improved by the new rain garden being constructed in parkland beside Upper Stranger Pond. The rain garden will be the biggest in the Southern Hemisphere. In a rain event, it will treat about 1800 litres of stormwater per second before it enters Lake Tuggeranong, reducing the level of nutrients and pollutants entering the lake.”

The rain garden is one of 19 water quality infrastructure projects planned for the ACT and Queanbeyan as part of ACT Healthy Waterways and one of six in the Tuggeranong catchment. Two water quality research projects are also underway.

ACT Healthy Waterways is a joint initiative of the ACT and Australian Governments to improve the quality of water entering our lakes and waterways and flowing downstream into the Murrumbidgee River system as part of the Murray-Darling Basin Plan.