On board the Kalgan Queen

DWER officers were recently invited to attend the OHCG end of year celebration aboard the Kalgan Queen crusing the Oyster Harbour. During the boat trip, officers presented information on DWER’s current monitoring program and recent findings.

The end of 2017 marked an important milestone for the Oyster Harbour Catchment Group (OHCG) and how better to celebrate than to go back to the harbour which the group formed to protect.

OHCG members, staff and guests were invited on board the Kalgan Queen in February 2018 to not only celebrate the milestone but to share information and viewpoints with a range of stakeholders.

OHCG’s Bruce Radys said that groups on board included representatives from the Friends of the Porongurup Range, King River Weed Control and Restoration Group, Friends of Emu Point, City of Albany and the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation.

“First stop was the Ocean Foods processing facilities, where Gareth James outlined the commercial oyster life cycle and production process. This really enforced to the group the value of protecting the harbour and the need for good water quality for commercial and native shellfish populations.

“Experienced skipper Jack Jones took the shallow boat over commercial mussel production areas and the group was also able to view seagrass through the glass bottom. Oyster Harbour is one of the few places in the world where areas of seagrass have been regenerated,” said Bruce.

“While pausing to view close encounters with a range of local birdlife, City of Albany’s Austin Rogerson outlined plans for the Yakamia Creek Biofilter project. This is an exciting Regional Estuaries Initiative (REI) project, which is aimed at reducing nutrient inputs from the Yakamia Creek catchment into the Oyster Harbour.

“A number of Department of Water and Environmental Regulation staff were also on-hand to outline the REI water quality monitoring program, as well as present information on changes in water quality over time. Being on the harbour made it easy to understand maps and data presented and prompted much discussion,” he said.

“In between talks, the group was able to sample a range of produce sourced within the catchment, as well as listen to Captain Jack’s entertaining local history narrative.

“A great afternoon was had by all, with everyone taking some time to appreciate and learn a little more about our great asset, the Oyster Harbour,” shared Bruce.