BDBSA Project Metadata Detail

Survey/Project Number: 340          Total No. of Sites: 0
Survey/Project Name: Lake George Waterfowl Monitoring
Abstract: The aim of this project is to monitor waterfowl bird species at Lake George to assist with management of the area and to determine any relationship between water quality and bird numbers. This includes comparison of water quality, fish and bird numbers. One of the initial outcomes is that birds are poor indicators of water quality as low fish numbers and water quality do not necessarily equate to low bird numbers.The Lake George Management System is due for review and the information gained from this project could contribute to it. In order to restore and protect the fish habitat and improve overall ecological health of Lake George, in March 2000, a diversion drain was excavated to redirect the freshwater flows from Drain M into the middle and northern large lakes. Following a significant rainfall in the winter and spring of 2000, Lake George has rapidly filled and the mouth has been re-opened to Rivoli Bay. In the end of 2000, SARDI Aquatic Sciences carried out a fish survey and indicated that the abundance of yellow-eye mullet and other main commercial and recreational fish species remained low however the recovery of habitat and productivity has commenced in the lake. For the implementation of a strategic monitoring program, a project was funded by the Natural Heritage Trust in 2001/02 for the Lake George Management Committee to continue monitoring the recovery of fish populations, aquatic vegetation, and the overall health of the lake. The committee has requested SARDI Aquatic Sciences to be the consultant and work in partnership on this project. The project was carried out through two fish surveys in August 2001 and March 2002, a survey of the benthic aquatic algae (genus Chara) in March 2002, water quality tests in conjunction with the sampling program, seasonal bird counts, and ongoing monitoring of the water levels and salinity in the lake system.
Start Date: 04/04/2001      End Date: 01/01/2002
Survey Type: Vertebrates only
Study Area Description: *** No study area description recorded
         Vegetation: Data recorded on excel spreadsheets - there are no plans for it to be entered at present, but it could potentially be entered on to the survey database. Reports in word format. GPS points are recorded at each site, either within the grid or at its corner. Photo's were also taken. Reasonably accurate. May be some difference in data from the two different researchers (Chris Wilson 4/4/2001-30/8/2001, Mark De Jong 29/07/2002-01/01/2002 - he did two counts). However, it should be noted that 1km2 grid squares did not favour the actual roost, and the data may not be particularly consistant. If the sample area was completely devoid of birds, but the area directly adjacent contained significant flocks, they may have been included in the count. During the Lake George project, an affiliate, Maureen Christy did a Wader count for the larger lakes of the Southeast.The data is currently with Maureen and Mark De Jong, probably in hard copy or excel (Mark was not sure). Retreival of it can be discussed with Mark. No GPS points are available, however the data could be entered on to the Reserve Database where the Lake was on a reserve.
         Fauna: A monthly survey of waterbirds was undertaken in Lake George by the National Parks and Wildlife Service, South Australia between April and August 2001 (sampling by Chris Wilson - previous ranger). It then ceased until 29th July 2002 when Mark De Jong recommenced sampling. Using a 1:50 000 map, the shoreline of the lake was divided into 76 1-km2 squares, from which 8 were randomly chosen for sampling purpose, covering about 10% of the lake's edge. Site attributes such as nominal water depth, substrate type, topographical/morphological features and vegetation were noted. Surveys were conducted on the same day each month and all waterbirds present within each survey square were counted. All eight survey squares were normally surveyed on the same day and no time restrictions were placed on the count. Each survey square was visited for the time required to complete a count of the waterbirds that were present. The weather conditions (cloud, wind force, and visibility) and the sampling time were also recorded on each occasion. Surveys recommenced in July 2002 and were undertaken by the South Eastern Water Conservation and Drainage Board, with the intention of continuing the surveys throughout the year. In September Site 9 in the 'Little Lake' was added to the count schedule on a trial basis, with a view to replacing one of the back-to-back sites that exist in the 'Northern Lake'. The data from Site 9 has been included for discussion, but not for analysis in this report. Starting in 2002 salinities at each site were measured using a conductivity meter (WTW LF330) and reference photographs taken using a digital camera. Observations were made using a 35X spotting scope and 10X42 binoculars. Where birds were present but not positively identifiable they were recorded as 'unidentified duck' or similar as the case may be.
         Vegetation: *** No vegetation methodology recorded
         Fauna: *** No vertebrate methodology recorded

Data Distribution Rules: Public
Project Basis: Fauna : Fauna species/population Study (ie trapping records over time period for species study). NOTE:NON Std Svy methodology may have been used.
Information Authority: Department for Environment and Heritage (BDBSA:South East) - Mt Gambier Office - Regional Ecologist