Saturday, August 31, 2013

The Mix Masters - Cotter Dam


I've loved helicopters since my first trip in a Kiowa skimming the treetops of Shoalwater Bay... One of the finishing touches to our new expanded water supply.

From the ACTEW Youtubes

A helicopter was engaged to lift the new Resmix destratification units into the Cotter reservoir to help ensure high water quality. This project was undertaken by ACTEW Water working with Tenix Australia. The units were designed and manufactured by WEARS Australia.

[Documentary maker Richard Snashall works with ACTEW Water to capture our local water story]





View Larger Map

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Aboriginal treasures in the hills

Interesting old article discussing what is today called the Yankee Hat Rock Art Site. One of the known Aboriginal art sites in the ACT it is located within Namadgi National Park in The Gudgenby Valley in a complex of boulders at the foot of Yankee Hat Mountain.

Dr.Josephine Flood describes her studies,observations and thoughts on what was once a Canberra secret.

Click to enlarge


The Canberra Times - Sunday 16 July 1978












Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Views from Apollo Rocks

Two videos in one week. Another 360 degree capture of the ACT by John Evans from Apollo Rocks. John describes the natural features pointing out known landmark names and displaying the vastness of the rugged parts of the territory. And again, I can't recommend John's blog highly enough if you are interested in bush walking in the ACT and surrounds....

 

-

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Pierces Creek Falls

John Evans goes to some amazing places in the ACT. Little gems seldom visited are frequented by John and his merry band of Canberra bush walkers and this is one of those... Anyone looking for information on bushwalking in the ACT and surrounds are highly recommended to visit Johns blog...



Monday, August 19, 2013

What does Digital Canberra mean to you?

This sounds interesting from the ACT Government...


From the Chief Ministers & Treasury release

"The ACT Government is seeking your views on how we can make Canberra a world leading digital city. 

We are interested in your thoughts and ideas on how we can capitalise on digital opportunities and promote our digital success stories to inspire others. We believe Canberra has unique qualities that we can leverage to transform the way we work, do business, and access government services.

We would also like to hear about what needs to be done and who we should be partnering with to:
  • diversify our economy;
  • enable businesses to access new customers and international markets;
  • support digital skills and improve digital literacy;
  • publish open data for use by citizens; and
  • provide better services, that are accessible, user-friendly and integrated.

Participation in either of these two methods (in link) gives you the chance to win one FREE 32GB iPad (with Retina display)

For terms, conditions and information cont...  ACT Government Community Engagements "


Tuesday, August 13, 2013

A detailed look into Canberra's convict past

Convict built Lanyon Barn (circa 1840)

Until March last year when the Lanyon Barn was gutted by fire you could have seen the display inside mentioned in the following Trove article. The roof is now repaired and I am not sure what display if any has been contained within but the old display was one of my favourites and a few posts about it are sprinkled through this blog.

The old display was a loss and reading this article reminded me of the knowledge I gained of Canberra's convict past from the preservation and displays at Lanyon. I made the following video in 2010 from photographs taken of the canvass wall hangings in the display. From memory I think the series was called 'Convict Portraits'...


The Canberra Times -Wednesday 22 June 1994





View Larger Map

Friday, August 9, 2013

Call to report illegal ACT fishing

Apart from being illegal in the ACT I thought everyone knew about the perils of using 'opera house' style traps for yabbies and crayfish. The photos on this page are of one I bought several years ago for a ridiculously low price from a Tuggeranong camping store. It was bought on the spur of the moment for use in a small private farm dam but has never been used...
As the tag says 'SureCatch". It is specifically designed to be easy to enter but difficult to leave. To an air breathing aquatic platypus this means sure suffocation after it enters in search of the bait or crustaceans...
Sadly this has been the case in Canberra waterways recently...
Released 09/08/2013 - Territory and Municipal Services
ACT Parks and Conservation today called for Canberrans to report any sightings of yabby nets or traps in ACT rivers and streams, after a platypus and three Murray River Crayfish were found drowned in an illegal crayfish trap near Kambah Pool. 
"A keen fisherman contacted us this week to report that he had found a set trap with a dead platypus near Kambah Pool," said Brett McNamara, Acting Regional Manager, National Parks and Catchments. 
"The trap also contained three threatened and protected Murray River Crayfish estimated at being between 10 and 40 years old. 
"This sort of incident is incredibly disappointing given the platypus is such an iconic species and the Murray River Crayfish is threatened. While the conservation status of platypus is stable, this month the Upper Murrumbidgee Waterwatch is running a platypus count to ascertain a clearer picture of overall numbers in our local waterways. 
"All enclosed nets and traps have been illegal in public waters in the ACT for over 10 years under the ACT Fisheries Management Act 2000 and are also illegal in surrounding NSW. They can kill platypus, turtles and water rats by preventing them from escaping meaning they drown. 
"Rangers will be stepping up patrols along the Murrumbidgee River Corridor looking for illegal fishing, which can also include the use of set lines, unattended rods, not keeping to size and bag limits and unauthorised vehicle access to areas. Last year we issued $1150 worth of on the spot fines to an illegal fisher who had 10 set lines at Kambah Pool reserve." 
Mr McNamara said that the Murrumbidgee River Corridor has many great fishing spots so it is very unfortunate when people choose to not obey the rules and harm our local wildlife. 
"There are no excuses for poor fishing behaviour. A number of signs are in good view of the public at popular fishing spots along the Murrumbidgee. These signs display pictures and descriptions of the protected endangered fish so that anglers can readily identify their catch. They also provide information on regulations and restrictions. 
"While ACT Government rangers will be increasing enforcement patrols in coming weeks, I encourage anyone who sees illegal fishing activities – such as set lines, unattended rods or enclosed traps – to report them to Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or Canberra Connect on 13 22 81." 
Mr McNamara also warned people to be on the lookout for people trying to catch the threatened Murray River Crayfish. 
People can visit www.tams.act.gov.au to obtain a copy of the information sheet Recreational Fishing in the ACT. People can report platypus sightings to the Australian Platypus Conservancy via www.platypus.asn.au/
- Statement ends - Tams Media Release
Both the following news articles have a photo of the dead platypus caught in the trap found...


Why are they dangerous to platypus? The above and below photo shows the ring openings. The netting funnels down to the ring allowing entry but the ring is unsupported to maintain the tunnel on an attempt at exit. Nasty things for wildlife.



If you come across one please report it.



View Larger Map

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Wanniassa Hills corridor quoll hunt


On June the 9th a solitary quoll was found dead near the underpass on Isabella Drive near Kellett Street Gowrie. This was an unusual find of a rare, mostly nocturnal, carnivorous marsupial in the suburbs of Canberra. I know of a sighting last year near the suburb of Lyons and an arboreal sighting in O'Connor in 2008. A few populations are I believe being studied in Namadgi National Park.
I camera trap regularly as a hobby and excuse to get out in the bush but have never set a trap in a populated area over concerns of theft but thought a stab in the dark near this recent Gowrie road kill would be a first step.
Looking at where the quoll was killed, unless it had navigated kilometers of suburban footpaths, indicated a corridor of habitat coming from the Wanniassa Hills nature reserve down into the Fadden Pines remnant plantation to where it met its demise. Stab in the dark but itrs the only thing that made sense to me.

Last Friday I set a ltl acorn trail camera set looking at a 50 cent chicken frame from the butchers...


I returned today to collect the camera. Everything was as how I left it minus the chicken frame...


So... no quolls captured on video but I did learn a little as a budding amateur quoll hunter. Using meat based baits effectively limits filming to night times. I was expecting visits by foxes because they are unfortunately very common in the ACT but did not expect the day long onslaught of currawongs, magpies and a raven who eventually secured the prize.

Its an interesting conundrum... females have smaller ranges than males and a male quolls range overlaps several females. Looking at the map he was a long way from Namadgi and separated by 20 km of suburbs. I'll have to think a little about this one before I proceed...


The Murrumbidgee Bunyip