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Noal Kuhl: Oakey Creek

Noal Kuhl: Oakey Creek

Bottle number: 60

About the water

Collected at: Oakey Creek, Bowenville, Queensland

Bowenville Reserve. Located 2kms south of Bowenville Township situated next to the Warrego highway between Oakey and Dalby. Approximately 90kms west of Toowoomba City.

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A colour photo Noal Kuhl with his water sample at Oakey Creek, Bowenville, Queensland
Noal Kuhl at Oakey Creek, Bowenville, Queensland.

Collected by: Noal Kuhl, Oakey Creek Freshwater Fish Stocking Association

Bowenville reserve has been stocked with native fish since 1986 including Murray cod, golden and silver perch with natural stockings of eel-tailed catfish (Tandanus Tandanus) and (Neosilurus Hyrtlii) and other endemic species.

Water quality:

Turbidity: 5.5
pH: 7.8
Nitrates: <1.0
Salinity: 1,510
Phosphates: 0.64
Dissolved oxygen: 6.8

The water in Oakey Creek contains treated waste water from the Wetella treatment plant in Toowoomba City that is released into Gowrie Creek (northern side of Tmba) before feeding into Westbrook Creek (southern side of Tmba) where it flows into Oakey Creek. Floodwater and stormwater comes from the city streets and surrounding farmland. Oakey Creek also contains waste water from the Oakey treatment plant with floodwater gathered from areas below and above Cooby Dam. Both systems are the headwaters for the Murray-Darling Basin on the upper Darling Downs and Condamine catchment with Cooby Dam and Toowoomba City situated on the peaks of the Great Dividing Range.

ACT Waterwatch says:

The site looks beautiful and clearly an awful lot of work has gone into it, but what is going on with the salinity and nutrients?

About the site

Bowenville reserve was originally used as a stock route watering reserve since the mid 1800s. With the phasing in of modern stock transportation the reserve was turned into a public access reserve for recreational use including fishing and camping.

What's going on:

In 2007 the area was set up as a demonstration reach and it became the first waterway in Queensland to be re-snagged and revegetated including erosion control measures with involvement from Oakey Freshwater Fish Stocking Association. and the Condamine Alliance. Stages 2, 3 and 4 downstream from this location covering 20kms will include similar activities while using Bowenville reserve as a guide. Oakey Creek and other associated inflowing streams have proven to be excellent breeding grounds for the eel-tailed catfishes with the overall revegetation and re-snagging project named 'Dewfish Reach.'

Restocking the site with native fish and operating creel surveys including re-snagging with electro-fishing being conducted by the QDPI&F. Bowenville reserve is also the first waterway location in Queensland to release fingerlings with a dye that will help in determining whether native fish caught in Oakey Creek are hatchery bred or came from natural spawning.